Pomfret Water District Formation Petition (2009)
The Pomfret Water District Formation Petition is a potential referendum that has stirred much controversy in the town of Pomfret, New York, dealing with the formation of a water district. Questions have been raised on the validity of the petition and whether residents were aware of its purpose, which was to form a referendum on the North End water district formation.
The new water district would extend municipal water, purchased from Fredonia, New York, to areas along Routes 20 and 60, as well as Webster Road. Water service would be provided to more than 200 residences and about 130 mobile homes that would be connected by 55,000 feet of water line.
When resident Jim Cripe asked to sign the petition, residents said they were told: the petition was the next step in the process to get the water district, or, the petition was needed to stop the water district. Pomfret Town Board member Rod Pennica brought this to attention during the board's June meeting when Cripe attempted to deliver the petition to the board.
"The only way I can describe it is I was misled," Town resident Chris Christy said. "He introduced himself and said it was about the water district and that it was for a vote to make sure that it went through."
However, Cripe responded to these allegations by stating at a July 1 meeting:
"Every person at least read the title of the petition and the majority of people read every word of it," he said. "The petition says it's seeking a referendum for the water district ... some people read it all the way through others said they were for that and they signed it ... if they chose not to read it that's their problem."
Reason for petition
According to Cripe, taxes were his main concern when he created the petition. He stated that higher taxes will come with the water district formation. He states:
"New York has the highest taxes of any state in the union and that's what's hampering development in this county. More taxes accomplishes nothing.
- June 10: Town councilman Rod Pennica addresses concerns that signers of a petition may have received false information
- June 11: Town clerk receives petition with over 200 signatures.
- June 16: Five day timeline to rescind signatures expires
The board has set a vote date on the north end water district for August 18, 2009 from noon until 8 p.m. to take place inside town hall.