People protest controversial decision over New Britain well - WFSB 3 Connecticut

People protest controversial decision over New Britain well

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The Patton Brook Well in Southington. (Mayor Erin Stewart Facebook photo) The Patton Brook Well in Southington. (Mayor Erin Stewart Facebook photo)

More than a hundred protesters were picketing outside New Britain City Hall on Wednesday night because of a decision could be regarding the future of city's water. 

The demonstrators were upset about a proposal to sell one of the town's wells to Southington for $1 million. About 150 people were demonstrating against the sale of the Patton Brook Well. 

“This is our future we're talking about. The state of Connecticut is in a severe drought right now,” Bobby Berriault, who opposes plan, said. “As time goes on we're only going to continue to go into more and more draught so our water resources are more important now than ever before.”

Patton Brook Well actually sits in a field in Southington, but it’s owned by New Britain at least for now. The well can pump about one point two million dollars although no one uses the well right now.  Southington leased the well until 2014 and now wants to buy it for one million dollars. 

It's a plan the common council rejected two years ago. It continues to leave many residents upset. 

In a news release sent to Eyewitness News, opponents said the rally is also to protest an impending Tilcon agreement to sell off the watershed land surrounding the reservoir near Shuttle Meadow Boulevard.

 In a Facebook video posted about a month ago, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart discussed the well situation and why a sale is being considered.

She said the well is physically in the town of Southington and can only produce 1.2 million gallons of water per day. It's also not hooked up to New Britain's water system.

“I think 27 is greater than 1 and we have an ability to enhance an asset that we have in another town that has an ability to provide for our city for many, many years to come,” Stewart said. “And we can spend the money wisely.”

Stewart said she supports making the deal. Stewart said the money could be used to repair and maintain 27 wells, which provide New Britain with about five million gallons of water. Stewart said the city uses 17 million gallons of water per day.

New Britain was offered $1 million for the so-called "water asset."

The city said it would use the money generated from the sale to improve a city-owned water facility in Bristol.

Wednesday night's city council meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at City Hall on West Main Street.

The rally started at 6 p.m. For more information about it, check out its Facebook event page here.

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