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Proposal to build two water tanks in Westport draws complaints

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WESTPORT -

Several people in Westport are saying no to a proposal to build two water tanks in their neighborhood, complaining that construction work would not only cause traffic congestion, but the structures would be eyesores as well.

The tanks would be built on North Avenue.

Aquarion submitted the permit for the tanks back in June, and they were approved last month by the planning and zoning commission.

According to a spokesperson for the company, the project is necessary for fire protection and everyday use.

The current water tank isn't enough to meet the town's needs.

It's actually been a concern for Fire Chief Robert Yost.

Yost says they were afraid had they battled a large fire, they could have potentially run out of water.

Aquarion says the proposed water tanks would nearly triple the amount of water storage, from one and a half million gallons to a 4.3 million gallons, meeting the current and projected needs of the town.

Some residents say though they are not convinced.

Stefanie Lemcke, who lives across the site on North Avenue, says people don't only oppose the size of the structures, but they also aren't happy with how quickly the town approved the project.

They've filed an appeal with the state's public utilities regulatory authority, and they say they want transparency.

“We want to know are these towers meant for Westport?” says Lemcke. “Because this is what you can allow here in this area. You can't allow regional water for the immediate neighborhood and from what we hear from Aquarion it's for the entire region and that shouldn't be placed here.”

According to the company, the tanks have been approved by the state Department of Public Health.

Aquarion says it plans to begin construction work next spring and expects it will take two years to complete. 

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