[HISTORY: Adopted by the Wilton Town Meeting 1-13-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A board of six members to be known as the "Wilton Water Commission" or "Commission" is hereby established. The First Selectman of the Town of Wilton will be one of six members and will serve as Chairman. The members will elect a Vice Chairman from their membership, who shall act as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman (First Selectman).
The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Members of the Board of Selectmen may be appointed to the Commission.
All members shall serve without compensation, except that their actual expenses and disbursements, where incurred with the approval of the First Selectman and in the performance of their duties, shall be paid by the Commission.
Members shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties and shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. One member shall be appointed for a term to expire on July 1, 1987: one member shall be appointed for a term to expire on July 1, 1988; one member shall be appointed for a term to expire on July 1, 1989: one member shall be appointed for a term to expire on July 1. 1990: and one member shall be appointed for a term to expire on July 1. 1991. At the expiration of each member's term, a successor shall be appointed by the Hoard of Selectmen to serve a term of five years; however, this shall not preclude a member from succeeding himself.
In the event of any vacancy upon the Commission, the Board of Selectmen shall promptly appoint a member to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term.
The Commission shall elect one of its number to act as Secretary and shall hold regular meetings, at least once each month, and keep records of the same. Meetings shall be held upon the call of the Chairman or at the call of the majority of the members of the Commission or at the call of the Board of Selectmen. Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
The Commission shall have all of the powers and duties conferred upon the Town in the Connecticut General Statutes and Public Acts, as the same may be amended, to study, manage and protect the water resources serving the Town of Wilton, to establish and maintain public water supply system(s), to provide for the furnishing of water by contract or otherwise, to extend or provide for the extension of water mains, to develop any individual water system plan that may be required pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 25-32d and to act as the representative of the Town of Wilton on any water utility coordinating committee created pursuant to Public Act 85-535 for the public water supply management area in which the Town is included and to take all actions necessary or incidental thereto, including, without limitation, voting, making recommendations and comments and obtaining and collecting data.
The Tax Collector of the Town of Wilton is hereby designated as the collector of any assessments, reimbursements, water system connection and use charges pursuant hereto.
All charges for the use of water directly or indirectly supplied in Wilton by the Commission, incurred by it on behalf of the Town of Wilton, shall be paid for and apportioned among the users of the water system in the manner determined by the Commission, so that each recipient of water services will pay its proportionate share of the costs of operation and maintenance.
Before the Commission shall seek an appropriation for the extension of any water main as permitted by Section 7-137c of the General Statutes, it shall hold a public hearing with regard to such proposed extension, at which time any resident of the Town of Wilton may be heard with regard thereto. Notice of such hearing, which notice shall identify the approximate area of the proposed extension, shall be published in a newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Wilton not later than seven (7 days prior to the hearing. At such hearing the Commission shall have available such cost estimates as it may then have with regard to the proposed cost of said extension. Within 60 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the Commission shall determine whether it intends to proceed with said extension, and if it intends to proceed with said extension, it shall seek an appropriation of such funds in such manner as is provided by Article VI of the Charter of the Town of Wilton.
Whenever the Town Meeting shall, pursuant to the Charter of the Town, appropriate funds for the extension of water mains as permitted by Section 7-137c, the owner of each property abutting such main shall reimburse the for his proportionate share of the cost of said extension according to the following formula.
The total cost of any extension shall be calculated and determined by the Commission within 120 days after the extension has been completed. The total cost shall include the cost of water mains, including materials, installation, pumping stations, service connections, curb, sidewalk and highway repairs, and the cost of the installation of gate valves and shutoffs, land acquisition, financing costs and incidental expenses.
The Commission shall determine the proposed share of each property owner proportioned in such a way that the municipality shall be ultimately free from any costs of the extension and expenses incidental thereto, except where any portion of the water main or service is to be used for a municipal purpose, in which instance the municipality shall contribute a fair proportion of the expense representing such proportional municipal share.
In a residence zone, the proportionate share of each property owner abutting the main shall be determined by dividing the total cost of the extension, as calculated by the Commission, by the number of residential lots reasonably capable of being served by the water main and/or abutting the water main, provided that said residential lots are included in the area approved by the Commission for the water main extension. The sum thus derived shall be the proportionate share.
Such proportionate share shall be the proposed assessment for each property owner. The Commission shall direct such proper Town officials as it determines to prepare a list of the proposed assessments, which shall contain the name and address of the owners thereof as on file with the Assessor of the Town of Wilton as of the date that the list is prepared. The list shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
The Commission shall establish a date for a public hearing, which shall not be later than 60 days following the determination of the proposed assessment, and shall cause a notice of public hearing to be published in the newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Wilton at least once and not less than seven days prior to the hearing date. A notice of the proposed assessment shall be mailed to each landowner of record abutting the water main, and such notice shall indicate the date, place and time of the public hearing and advise that any person desiring may appear and be heard. The notice shall be mailed to the address on file with the Assessor as of the date of mailing and shall be mailed by United States Mail, postage prepaid, not later than 14 days prior to the hearing. At said hearing the Commission shall cause to be placed on the record the basis of the cost calculation that it has made and the method selected in determining the fair share of each property owner.
Within 30 days after the hearing, the Commission shall make such assessments as it finds to equal the fair proportionate share of each property owner in accordance with Section 7-137c and shall cause a notice of said assessment containing the names and addresses of the property owners and the amount of said assessment and identifying the property in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town of Wilton.
Said assessment shall be due and payable within 60 days of the date of the action by the Commission, provided that the Commission may permit the assessment to be paid in installments for a period not to exceed 10 years, provided that the property owner shall pay interest on the principal balance at the rate to be established by the Commission, which interest shall be not less than the interest rate being paid by the Town of Wilton on any obligation incurred to finance the project. Notice of said assessment shall be recorded in the land records of the Town of Wilton.
In the case of any land zoned residential or classified pursuant to Sections 12-107a to 12-107e of the General Statutes, inclusive, as farm land, forest land or open space land on the last completed Grand List of the Town, which exceeds by more than 100% the size of the smallest lot permitted in the lowest density residential zone allowed under the zoning regulations, assessment of such excess land shall be deferred until such time as such excess land shall be built upon or a building permit issued therefor or until approval of a subdivision plan of such excess property by the Planning and Zoning Commission, whichever event occurs first, at which time the assessment shall be made. In the event that such assessment is deferred, the Commission shall cause a caveat regarding said deferred assessment to be placed on the Land Records in a form satisfactory to the Commission and to the Town Counsel.
In any industrial or commercial zone, the proportionate share of each property owner abutting the main shall be determined in each case on a case-by-case basis on a front-foot or other equitable basis, provided that if residential or agricultural property or property zoned for residential or agricultural use abuts lines of construction of water mains to be used for industrial or commercial purposes, or partly for commercial purposes, or partly for commercial or industrial purposes, and such property is not being used for such purposes, the proportionate share of the owners of such property shall be computed on a front-foot or other equitable basis for a standard or minimum size main.
In any case where need for a particular extension is in response to a community pollution problem, as defined by Section 25-54b of the Connecticut General Statutes, and a grant is received from the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Town may waive such reimbursement to the extent of any grant actually received.
If a water main is extended and if funds are reimbursed to the Town of Wilton by property owners along the extension, all said reimbursement payments shall become the property of the Town, provided that if, when all of the assessments have been paid and all of the reimbursements have been received, the total amount received exceeds the entire cost of the project, including the provision of hydrants and improvements and all incidentals, to the Town of Wilton, any excess funds shall be proportionately reimbursed to the property owners affected. Each water main extension project shall be financed separately, and moneys to be refunded, if any, shall be made only with respect to the lots contained in the area of each project.
All water mains shall be installed in existing streets or rights-of-way whenever possible, and all mains shall have a tap brought to the edge of the right-of-way of the Town road abutting the land of all adjoining property owners so as to avoid disruption of the surface of the highway when and if a particular property owner determines to make use of the water service.
Within 60 days of an assessment made pursuant to this ordinance and Section 7-137c of the Connecticut General Statutes, the owner of any property assessed may appeal to the Superior Court pursuant to the provisions of Section 7-137c as the same may be amended from time to time.