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Westport Family Y Withdraws Sewer Hookup Request

WESTPORT, Conn. — The Westport Weston Family Y is no longer seeking to connect its planned new facility at Mahackeno Outdoor Center to the town’s municipal sanitary sewer system , Y officials announced Monday.

The nonprofit’s pending application with the town, which was filed in January, has been withdrawn. The Board of Selectmen was scheduled to review the application during a special meeting Thursday night.

Although the nonprofit had previously gained local and state approval to install and operate a septic system that would treat wastewater from the new Y facility on site, it filed the sewer application, citing environmental and economic benefits.

“We filed the application in response to input that we had received throughout the public approval process from many members of the community, including local officials, expressing a preference for a sewer connection rather than an on-site septic system,” Family Y CEO Rob Reeves said in a statement.

However, Reeves said the application “has raised consideration of issues broader than anticipated.”

“Under the present circumstances, we do not feel it is in the interest of the Family Y — our 5,500 members and the volunteers who lead our association — to pursue the application further,” said Reeves. “Simply put, we need to focus on our greatest priorities: meeting our funding goals and keeping our construction plans and timeline on track as we continue to meet the needs of our community with our many programs and services.”

In February, the Y announced its intention to build the planned 102,000-square-foot facility in phases to keep pace with fundraising. Last month, R eeves announced at least $6 million more in funding was needed by mid-May in order to begin construction in October on Phase One, which includes a 55,000-square-foot main building.

Longtime resident and former Y president Allen Raymond recently pledged $500,000 . Now, Y officials say a significant portion of the remaining $5 million in cash and pledges will need to be secured by May 11 in order to meet financial and construction deadlines.

“It’s not a matter of dreaming up a new Y somewhere downtown, or of somehow remaining in our current home past 2014,” said Bonnie Strittmatter, president of the Family Y’s Board of Directors. “After more than 15 years of painstaking work, it really does come down to a new Y for our community at Mahackeno or no Y at all.”

Regarding the withdrawal of the sewer application, Reeves said the Y will move forward with the septic system that was designed and approved for the site.

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