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Are You Ready for Election Day in West Hartford?

What you need to know before voting in West Hartford: polling places, sample ballots, and details on the Clean Water Project referendum..

On Tuesday voters will mark their choices for President of the United States, U.S. senator, representative in U.S. congress, state senator, and state representative.

In West Hartford, there is also a referendum question pertaining to the MDC's Clean Water Act.

Do you know where to vote on Election Day?

The Town of West Hartford has redistricted into nine new voting districts and the chances are you have a new polling place for the upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. All polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

West Hartford Polling Stations:

  • District #1 - King Philip Middle School, 100 King Philip Drive
  • District #2 - Bristow Middle School, 34 Highland Street
  • District #3 - West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main Street
  • District #4 - Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Avenue
  • District #5 - Wolcott School, 71 Wolcott Road
  • District #6 - Conard High School, 110 Beechwood Road
  • District #7 - Sedgwick Middle School, 128 Sedgwick Road
  • District #8 - Braeburn School, 45 Braeburn Road
  • District #9 - Hall High School, 975 North Main Street

Voters can find out if they are registered to vote and their new polling place at the Secretary of State's "Look Up" site at: www.dir.ct.gov/sots/lookup.aspx. You must be registered to vote in West Hartford in order to vote in the upcoming November election.

Referendum Question on the Ballot for MDC's Clean Water Project

Voters in Metropolitan District Commission member towns, including West Hartford, will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum concerning the financing of the MDC's Clean Water Project.

As explained by MDC representatives Brendan Fox and Tim Dupuis at the Oct. 23, 2012 meeting of the West Hartford Town Council, the project will be undertaken regardless of the outcome of the vote. The referendum is not for or against the Clean Water Project, but instead will determine how the project will be financed.

"The MDC is subject to a consent order and consent decree. We are bound by the terms regardless of what occurs in the referendum," Fox told the Town Council.

Phase I of the Clean Water Project began in 2006, and since 2008 surcharges have been appearing on MDC water bills. Those surcharges, which according to the MDC are $2.90/ccf ($15.83/month for the average customer), are slated to increase by 2021 to $5.75/ccf, or about $47.92/month for the average customer, and then will gradually decrease as the project is completed.

If the referendum fails, the MDC will not be able to obtaining long-term financing for the project it is required to complete. According to Fox, the MDC would be required to “pay as you go” for the $90 million of work per year required to be completed under the consent order.

In order to finance completion of that work, the $90 million would have to be generated from the towns, which would translate into increased property taxes. The surcharge is based on water usage, which includes households and businesses which may not otherwise pay property taxes.

Town Manager Ron Van Winkle confirmed to the Town Council that financing the project through an "ad valorem tax" – a tax based on real estate values, would result in West Hartford financing $22 million of the $90 million annual cost.

“We believe that the surcharge is a more equitable way to share that cost,” Fox told the Town Council in his presentation.

(The following explanation is from the Town of West Hartford website)

The following question regarding the Metropolitan District Commission's (MDC) Clean Water Project will appear on the November 6, 2012, ballot for the MDC member towns of Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor. The following explanatory text has been prepared pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 9-369b.

The Question reads as follows:

Shall the appropriation of an additional $800,000,000, to be financed, in part, by the issuance of bonds and Clean Water Fund grants and loans, for Phase II of the Metropolitan District's combined sewer overflow, sanitary sewer overflow and nitrogen removal programs to decrease levels of pollution in Metropolitan District member towns, the Connecticut River and its tributaries, and Long Island Sound to comply with a consent decree of the United States District Court of the District of Connecticut and a consent order of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, be approved?

The purpose of the question is to appropriate funds toward the Clean Water Project, which will address approximately 1 billion gallons of combined wastewater and storm water currently released each year to area waterways. This wastewater is discharged by 38 combined sewer overflow (CSO) and eight sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) locations, at which diluted sewage is discharged into the Connecticut River and its tributaries. To learn more, go to http://www.themdc.com/pr10132012.pdf.

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