Most recently, the town was awarded a $2.5 million grant for the project to come from federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that, added to previous grants, would have covered 80 percent of the total cost.
"That will be reallocated unless we can display that we have a definitive plan of action with a definitive timeline," said Merrihew.
However, that latest funding may allow a previously rejected plan for a sewage plant site to become reality.
Property on the town-owned Cobble Hill Golf Course was among at least six parcels that had been considered as potential sites. It was considered for an environmentally-friendly treatment plant that would not discharge effluent into a waterway, but instead utilize an expansive underground leach field system to dispose of waste.
Last spring, the town applied for a Green Innovation Grant through EFC that would have paid 25 percent of the cost of the plant and put the project within the target cost to taxpayers, but a stipulation in the grant prevented it from being used on a municipally-owned golf course and the plan was abandoned.
When the $2.5 million ARRA grant was announced Dec. 1, the wheels had already been put in motion to vote on the project with Woodruff Lane as the site of the plant.
"Now that that has gone down and the $2.5 million is unencumbered, we now could pursue the possibility of the golf course," Merrihew said.
And Merrihew is hopeful that those who have been opposed to the sewer project - or at least the idea of a treatment plant on Woodruff Lane - might now welcome the alternative site with open arms.