A few Town of Torrey residents are breathing a sigh of relief for the election results from the neighboring Town of Benton.
By a vote of 34 to 18, Benton residents of the area where an extension of Benton’s water district No. 1 is proposed approved spending over $1 million for the project that will eventually serve 68 customers in the town.
That extension will be the connection that residents in Torrey want to make to establish their own water district there.
Earlier this year, the Town of Torrey approved plans to connect to the end of the Benton water line to create their own first water district, using the well water from Kashong in the Town of Geneva. Torrey was notified in September that the USDA has awarded their project a loan of $892,000 and grant of $684,000. The town had originally applied for $500,000.
What happened in Benton:
The extension of Benton’s Water District No. 1 south to the Torrey town line had been approved by petition of the residents in the proposed expansion earlier this year. However, just before the town board was to vote to enact the project, 15 residents of the proposed expansion area who objected to the current bid estimate of $1,032,000, up from $709,000 when it was proposed, submitted a petition to require a permissive referendum for the project.
Benton Supervisor Jack Prendergast confirmed that 52 of the 68 voters who were eligible to vote on the Benton referendum cast ballots Nov. 6. Unlike the original petition, which required 51 percent of the residents to approve owning at least 51 percent of the total assessed value of the area in question, this referendum is a simple majority vote.