Rutland residents are tackling a couple of big issues at the polls this Town Meeting Day. And city water quality is back on the table.
Changes in Environmental Protection Agency regulations left Rutland City with unacceptable water. The city proposed two options: building a filtration system, or the less expensive option of adding monochloramine-- a disinfectant-- to the water supply. In November, voters rejected funding for the water filter. Now they're deciding if chloramine is the how the city water should be treated.
"Other cities have chloramine in them; it seems to be working fine," said Geraldine Burke of Rutland. "I trust big cities, so I actually think the chloramine should be fine in the city. I also trust our engineer who is in charge of the water safety here."
The Champlain Water district in Chittenden County uses chloramine. But some Rutland voters are not convinced, they say the chemicals could be harmful and unnecessary.
"Definitely there are some people interested in the chloramine issue. Though, that has been put on the backburner for the time being because the water at this point is just fine. We have great water in Rutland too!" said Diane Alberts, a candidate for the Board of Aldermen.
The chloramine item is non-binding, but if passed it could go in affect if the city water quality drops below EPA compliance.
After going to all four voting stations, I also heard a lot of conversation about both the mayoral and board of aldermen races. Current Mayor Chris Louras is being opposed by longtime Board of Aldermen leader Dave Allaire. Additionally, six of the 11 board of aldermen spots are up for election and there are 12 candidates running for those spots.