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Tuesday April 25, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. Mattacheese Middle School, 400 Higgins Crowell Road, West Yarmouth.
Voters will be asked to approve the appropriation $207.2 million to construct Phase One of the Town’s sewer project, which includes pipe installation and building the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The project’s purpose is to reduce nitrogen loading to rivers, bays, and harbors through the discontinued use of on-site septic systems in portions of Yarmouth. The treatment of the associated wastewater with enhanced nitrogen removal would remove a potential threat to drinking water quality, protect sensitive resource areas, shellfish and indigenous plant species decimated by accelerated growth of nuisance plants and algae, while simultaneously promoting revitalization of the Route 28 corridor and Yarmouth’s overall economy.
No. Multiple opportunities will make up the funding sources, including Cape &Islands Water Protection Trust, District Improvement Financing (Article 19), user capital fees, low or zero interest (0%) financing, state and federal grants and betterment charges.
The cost of doing nothing would present regulatory ramifications, potential to third party lawsuits, effects on residential properties and business and tourism.
The Phase One projected start date is September 2023. Projected construction end date is June 2026.
The Town’s wastewater project (DEP approved) is the best step the Town can take to avoid property owners throughout town from having to upgrade existing Title 5 systems with expensive Innovative/Alternative (I/A) systems (soon to be required by the Department of Environmental Protection) which do little to reduce nitrogen into our environment.
To see the Phase One map, click here.
Voters will be asked to approve the appropriation of $207.2 million to construct Phase One of the Town’s sewer project. Most of Phase One is focused on commercial properties and the Route 28 corridor. There are 8 phases to the project. Every property that must connect will incur betterment, connection costs, and sewer charges.
A betterment fee calculates a fair proportion of the project costs to property owners within Phase One. Much of Phase One encompasses the Route 28 corridor, therefore much of the costs are borne by commercial properties (many are hotels and restaurants). Our project calculations show the following examples (all over 30 years):
The town is limiting the betterments to 15% of the project costs. This lowers the obligation to property owners. This is possible because the Town is using available funding sources to help lower the betterments to property owners.
To see the map of all phases, click here.
The Board of Health has yet to determine, but you will likely be able to fill your septic system and leave it underground.
725,000 gallons has been reserved for additional flow; how that may be allocated has yet to be determined.
Each phase will take approximately 5 years to complete.
For connection costs, Barnstable County has created a low-interest or no-interest loan called the AquiFund. The Cape Cod 5 has a sewer connection loan and other financial institutions have products to help you pay for sewer connection costs. The betterment fee to the town will be at a low interest rate and can be stretched over a 30-year period and is transferable with any sale of the property.
No, only the nitrogen sensitive areas of Bass River, Parkers River, and Lewis Bay area.
The Health Department is prepared to work with property owners in these cases. This may involve more frequent septic tank pumping, or other significant system maintenance procedures. Property owners in future phases (after Phase One) will likely need some type of septic system repair to allow them to use their septic system until a sewer connection is available. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, property owners may need a full system replacement, but the Health Department will likely allow the property owners to use those new septic systems for an extended period before requiring them to connect to the sewer system.
The Town of Yarmouth previously explored the possibility of a regional wastewater project by partnering with the towns of Dennis and Harwich. The Town of Yarmouth needed to move forward to take advantage of the most economical opportunities available for the residents to begin environmental restorations. Future phases may involve additional regional discussion.