Special Town Meeting- Water Study Minutes

Special Town Meeting- Water Study

October 15, 2019


Greg Joly opened the meeting at 7:10 p.m.

Paul gave a brief overview of the water study.

Greg read the warning, “The legal voters of the town of Jamaica, in the county of Windham and state of Vermont, are hereby notified and warned to meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall in said town of Jamaica, on the Tuesday, October 15, 2019, to transact the following business and act upon the following articles:Article 1: Shall the voters of Jamaica encourage the Selectboard to continue pursuit of a public water system by contracting for exploration of a water source with VHB for approximately $203,990 plus site permitting?”

Only registered voters can vote.

Ed Flower made a motion to allow non-residents to speak, Karen Ameden seconded, passed by a show of two-third hands.

Jennifer Dorta-Duque made a motion to open the discussion, seconded by Patti Dickson.

In 2018, the Town of Jamaica contracted with the Dufrense Group to do the water study.

VHB gave a presentation on phase 1 and phase 2 of the water study.

Chrissy Haskins explained the drinking water fund, a state and federal funded program. There is a planning loan that is zero percent interest for the first five years. With forward progress, the loan could be deferred. The state reimburses the town for the amount spent.

A fire district was discussed. It would be expensive to establish. At this stage it would not be sensible to create it but it would be worth looking into.

What if the total cost was over the estimated $203,000? The town would need to budget for it.

An unknown cost is the access road to the well, the distance can vary.

Someone said they were concerned that nothing else was being done for the growth of the town.

Will sewer follow? Most septic systems seem okay, they are just too close to the wells. The public water system would give more room to replace existing septic systems.

A water district would usually have ordinances to explain what would happen with liability.

What is the village? This is hard to define.

The town is not looking for overgrowth, just smart growth.

Matt Coleman called the question. Seconded by Fran Janick.

The total number of voters checked in was 112. The total number of votes was 116.

The town was given the choice to accept the vote without knowing the outcome or to revote with the remaining voters. A lot of people had already left at this point.

Margaret Miller made a motion to accept the vote as counted, seconded by CJ King. Passed by a show of two-third hands.

The final vote:


No- 72

The motion failed.


Submitted by Sara Wiswall