BETHEL — Selectmen voted 4-1 Monday to hold a special town meeting Dec. 10 to vote on a $1.2 million loan for wastewater treatment plant improvements.

The money would come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

Interim Town Manager David Holt said he did not see a better financing option,  and he advised selectmen not to rebid the project because the prices have steadily increased.

Selectman Andy Whitney said the priority should be to fix what needs to be fixed, and not focus on constructing a building for a dewatering machine, which is part of the improvements.

Holt said plant Superintendent Rick Davis told him the dewatering machine is the safest and most environmentally viable way to prevent sludge from getting to the river. The building would be essential to shelter for the machine.

Selectman Pete Southam said it’s important that everything at the plant passes inspection.

Whitney ultimately voted against the special town meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10.

Selectmen plan to ask SAD 44 officials if they can use Crescent Park School if there is a large turnout.

The improvements, which were approved by selectmen, include safety and environmental work, a building for a dewatering machine, new pumps, decking and a shed.

Earlier this year, the plant’s capital improvement plan called for borrowing about $400,000 and using a $400,000 grant the town received for the work. But in July the board received bids significantly above their expectations — $1.71 million and $1.49 million.

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