By Lisa Loomis

When the votes on the Waitsfield water project were recounted, the initial victory announced last week was reversed. The project failed by 13 votes, with the recount showing 219 no votes and 206 yes votes.

Voters cast ballots on the $7.5 million project on June 10 and after the polls closed vote counters released a tally of 206 yes votes and 199 no votes with one spoiled ballot. Town Clerk Jennifer Peterson noticed that the town voter checklist showed that 426 people had cast ballots and the initial results totaled 406 rather than 426.

The board of civil authority recounted the votes on June 16 and released the new totals that same day.  

The project was to have served Waitsfield Village, Irasville, the Tremblay Road and the Old County Road. The project would have cost $7.5 million and the town had obtained $3.6 million in grants. All the operating costs of the system were to be borne by users. The project would have provided fire protection to the service area with hydrants.

The June 10 vote followed a Town Meeting vote where voters turned down the project by a vote of 442 to 398.