City council approves sewer assessment

MMVA President Donna Lawson and Vice President Debbie Lavoie inspect the lawn and garden of Burgess House on Tuesday evening.

Barnstable City Council brought payment for the city’s new sewer system closer to reality last week by voting to assess residential taxpayers along the first stage of $ 10,000, plus hookup fees.

“It was a very difficult decision, and our city council made it,” Ells told members of civic associations in Marstons Mills and Cotuit on Tuesday evening. “You will be evaluated even if you choose do not to plug in. The authority to log in rests with the Board of Health. “

The vote was 11: 1, with Councilor P1 Gordon Staff as the sole dissenter and one member, Councilor P8 Deb Dagwan, absent.

However, some residents are not affected by the first phase of sewer construction, which is expected to begin this fall in Centerville. For those who are, the project costs can be financed over 30 years at a low municipal interest rate.

In late May, councilors voted to reduce the home assessment by $ 17,000 to make the cost more affordable. Connection costs will vary widely, Ells said, depending on the distance between the house and the road, soil conditions, water table and other factors.

“If we keep it at $ 10,000, we still have to catch up to $ 131 million,” said Ward 1 Councilor Gordon Starr of Barnstable, West Barnstable and Cummaquid. “If we go to $ 17,000, we have to make up for $ 96 million. There is a $ 35 million difference there. I don’t know what the effect of that is on the tax bills of any. the world.”

This is the next step, which the board endorsed at its May 20 meeting, said board chair Matt Levesque.

Find out the tentative date for your home’s sewer construction by entering your address in the property search tool on the city‘s website.

“The whole south side of Cape Town has to do it,” Ells said.

CLF costumes

A resident of Marstons Mills asked Ells, jokingly, how Barnstable got the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) to sue the town at precisely this point, as if it was the urgent push for council to approve the overall plan the city’s wastewater management system, which has been a decades-long process.

Ells simply replied, “CLF hasn’t served us yet. We are in constant dialogue. We (the city leaders) just don’t want to lose control of the process. “

August 5 comes the second part of the sewer implementation: whether to consider general funds or a debt exclusion bond issue to fund the remainder of the 30-year project.

Ultimately, Barnstable’s zoning regulations will continue to transform, as “the sewers change the number of Title V rooms,” Ells said. State law currently limits the number of bedrooms a home without a sewer can have based on the property’s septic capacity.

If not immediately mandated by the board of health, residents could choose to defer hooking up until the property is sold.

But look at it this way, said Lévesque: with the sewers, “your property is going to be worth more. That’s the cost of doing business on Cape Cod. And your road is paved. “

Pipe talks continue on August 5 at 7 p.m. ET. City council is also due to meet to discuss a draft ADU ordinance on July 15 and will meet jointly with the school committee in August. All the meetings are filmed and available in replay by scrolling through Ch. 18 media library.

Barnstable City Council Vice President Paula Schnepp broke her leg while cycling when a pedestrian stepped out in front of her along the Cape Cod Canal.
Donna Lawson and Debbie Lavoie at Burgess House.

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