Jefferys say grinder pumps would have least environmental impact

To the Editor:
As owners of 17 Grove Street, we are writing to share the findings expressed in an engineering report presented at the Feb. 9, 2012 sewer commission meeting, regarding 18 Grove Street as a site location for a sewer pump station.

The P&Z Board made its unanimous vote in favor 1) without even seeing the plans for it, and 2) not taking the opportunity to raise questions but instead quickly dismissing the independent report provided by our lawyer and engineer at the 3/6/12 meeting. We realize that this long-standing septic system problem needs to be addressed but Mr. Macaluso's statement that the “Grove Street pump station is the best fix and will have the least impact on the environment” is simply not true.
The expert engineer, Robert Sonnichsen, stated in his report that “the entire New Haven Avenue infill project is located within the designated coastal area and is regulated by the City of Milford's Coastal Area Management Regulations.”
The Oyster River estuary, with its extensive tidal wetlands buffered by steeply sloping vegetated uplands, are located both adjacent to and on the property located at 18 Grove Street. Portions of the property are actually closer to the critical coastal resource than the property previously considered at the end of Grove Street.”
This means that there is a threat to the environment, where there would be none if the city chose the grinder pump option for the 25 homes (not 28 as Mr. Macaluso said, as he was counting three empty lots that do not have homes on them).
Another issue taxpayers should be aware of is cost. The engineer we engaged (who stands to gain no money by receiving expensive contracts from his findings) estimates putting the pump station at 18 Grove will cost $2.4 million (and he emphasizes that this is a “conservative” estimate), not the $2 million Mr. Macaluso projected. Choosing 18 Grove requires not only the $170,000 house purchase, but the added cost of demolition of a perfectly good house.)
Choosing the grinder pump system will cost the city 35% less than choosing to put a pump station at 18 Grove according to the engineer.
We think the mayor, Sewer Commission, Planning and Zoning Board need to carefully read and discuss the engineer's report we provided them and choose the most fiscally-responsible option, which is the grinder pumps. The engineer has emphasized that grinder pumps are used successfully throughout Connecticut in situations like this where there are various levels of terrain located by bodies of water.
In this economy, why wouldn't the city choose the cheapest option, especially when it's the best one (according to the engineer) for the environment?
Patricia Williams Jeffery Jonathan Jeffery