NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectmen on Friday approved holding a second town meeting Feb. 11 to ask voters to approve a public water system for Upper Gloucester.

On Jan. 14, residents voted 116-101 against the $2.4 million project. Some said there was insufficient information about it and the mandatory hook-up would be a financial hardship for some.

Others pleaded to have the project approved, because of some 20 private wells that have been polluted with salt and benzene since the 1980s.

After the Jan. 14 vote, selectmen and the New Gloucester Water District held meetings with those living within the Water District and with the public.

Board Chairman Steve Libby said the ordinance for creating the system was revised so that only those in the Rural Development-funded project area would be required to hook into it.

If the line is extended in the future, a town vote for mandatory hook-up will be sought, he said.

Libby said another change allows noncontaminated wells to be used to water gardens and fill swimming pools, as long as there is no cross-contamination with the public water system.

Libby said 45 of 48 households and businesses in the project area say they approve of hooking into the system.

After the Feb. 11 meeting warrant is signed, selectmen plan to mail informational postcards to every mailbox holder and post the warrants and appropriate documents for the public.

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