After being told it needed to find new water sources, the developer of the proposed Ponde Place apartment complex believes it has, in fact, found sufficient water on the site to serve its current plan.
Tony Giorgio, managing director for Keystone Co., the Avon firm proposing the project, said the developer was hand-delivering an application to two state agencies Wednesday seeking permits for its four test wells.
The applications, to both the state Departments of Public Health and Public Utility Control, will ask the state to allow three of the four wells to become production wells, with the fourth serving as a monitoring well.
Keystone has been looking for state approval for a water system for its Ponde Place proposal, which would be located on Hunting Lodge Road.
The most recent proposal would build housing for 648 people, with a total of 156 units and 18 attached town houses for post-graduate and junior faculty members at the University of Connecticut.
The DPH, in a letter in November, originally told Keystone it did not have sufficient water on site for its current proposal based on data from a water test last year.
But Giorgio said Keystone has since dug test wells at another location on the site and discovered a water source that would be able to serve tenants.
“We have water, we’ve always had water, it’s just a question of how much,” he said, adding Keystone has a “tremendous amount of data” showing a sufficient yield of water from the current wells.
He said Keystone wanted to drill the test wells earlier this year, but numerous snowstorms forced the developer to wait.
Keystone will now go to the DPH and DPUC to get approvals for permanent wells before moving forward with the necessary approvals from Mansfield.
Keystone needs state approval on an eventual water source before the town could approve the project.
DPH spokesman William Gerrish said any well system serving 25 or more people for at least 60 days needs a “joint certificate” of approval from the DPH and DPUC.
He said the certificate is awarded after a three-part process, which first looks at the location of the proposed wells.
The two departments then look at the quantity and quality of the water from the wells before examining the actual construction plans of a well system.
Gerrish said the DPH and DPUC will look at a number of issues to ensure a proposal meets both state and federal regulations, and reaches out to other agencies when necessary.
“It’s hard to say how long that process will take,” he added.
In its November letter, the DPH said Keystone also had other alternatives if it cannot find sufficient water, including downsizing its proposal.
Keystone could also find additional or alternative water sources, including Connecticut Water Co., to meet the needs of the project as currently proposed.
UConn has said it does not currently have enough water to service Ponde Place.
Giorgio said he hopes to submit the necessary applications to the town this fall, but added he also is not sure how long the process would take.
“Who knows?” he said. “I mean, I don’t know.”
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