East Hampton, Portland officials to meet on water service proposal

PORTLAND — Town officials from Portland and East Hampton are scheduled to sit down Friday with state officials and water company representatives to discuss extending water service through Portland into East Hampton and perhaps beyond.
Portland hopes to extend an existing water line east along the Route 66 corridor, while East Hampton is in desperate need of a reliable water supply.
In a Nov. 21 letter to DPH commissioner Dr. Paul Pino requesting the meeting, Portland First Selectwoman Susan S. Bransfield acknowledged East Hampton has “significant water quality and quantity issues.” Portland has been asked to allow the Metropolitan District Commission “to utilize portions of our system to expand their services to supply water” to East Hampton, she said.
During a conversation in her Town Hall office Wednesday, Bransfield said expanding water service to East Hampton opens the door to a similar expansion to communities further to the east.
Looming above all these issues is the question of funding a waterline expansion.
In a report to the Town Council earlier this month, East Hampton Town Manager Michael Maniscalco said it could cost plus/minus $80 million to bring a reliable water system into the center of town.
Council Chairwoman Melissa H. Engel agreed.
Maniscalco said he welcomes the opportunity to sit down with Bransfield, DPH officials as well as representatives from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Hebron Town Manager Andy Tierney and Marlborough First Selectwoman Amy Traversa.
Also scheduled to take part in the meeting are Chatham Health District Executive Director Don Mitchell, and representatives of the Lower River Council of Governments, the MDC and the CT Water Co. Maniscalco has been in discussion with both CT Water and the Aquarion Water Co. as well as MDC.
Maniscalco said he is “very hopeful that we will get some kind of direction for moving forward” during Friday’s meeting.

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