Members of Waitsfield’s wastewater planning team have been reaching out to property owners in the service area for a proposed municipal wastewater system for the town in advance of a June 11 bond vote.





Chach Curtis, a member of the select board and the wastewater planning team, explained that the outreach from the planning team is in person, by phone, via email, with an emphasis on in-person.

Initially, the team members have been focusing on those in Waitsfield Village and Irasville who’ve been identified as priority users.

“Priority users are the folks who have leach fields and septic systems that are in the floodplain or over 40 years old. We started with them, but from there, we’re going to reach out to all the users in the service area that runs from Fiddlers Green to Waitsfield Elementary School,” Curtis said.  

They are using the database Salesforce to track their outreach which is primarily being undertaken by Curtis, and planning committee members Robin Morris, town zoning administrator JB Weir, and town administrator Annie Decker-Dell’Isola.




While the tracking of their outreach is recorded in Salesforce, their methodology for who talks to whom is based on who may have a relationship with the property owners or at least an acquaintance.

‘We’ve gotten to a third of the potential users in the service area and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, both in supporting the project and terms of signing on to the system,” Curtis added.

Curtis said that some potential users are very well-versed in the health and logistics of their wastewater systems, while others are less so. Some of those in the know have had to repair or replace their systems.

Individual outreach will be followed by community-wide outreach which will start next week at Town Meeting where there will be an update on the project. A new wastewater specific site within the town’s website has recently gone live. Next will be mailers, an April public meeting, followed by an early June public meeting. Additionally, there will be several dozen community ambassadors lending their support publicly for the project.

The project will cost an estimated $15 million and the town has identified over $13 million in federal and state grants through The VT Clean Water State Revolving Fund, USDA Rural Development (RD), and Congressional Discretionary Spending. A federal low-interest USDA RD loan is identified for the remaining $2 million, with the principal and interests paid back via users’ rates. All users will be able to sign up for and join the system for free.

This approach results in a wastewater system built and operated at no cost to Waitsfield taxpayers, similar to Waitsfield’s municipal water system. It was constructed 11 years ago with grants and loans, and the loan payments and operating cost are fully covered by its customers.

To access the state and federal funds, the town needs to pass an affirmative bond vote for the full amount in order to access the funding, some of which expires in November and some which is federal ARPA funding that the state must allocate by December or return it to the federal government.