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Tiverton To Study Expansion of Sewers

The Tiverton Town Council approved financing for a $58,500 study to determine how to deal with a high failure rate of cess pools and septic systems on the north end.

Tiverton is considering expanding its sewers to mitigate contamination from an outbreak of septic system and cess pool failures on the north end of town.

The state Department of Environmental Management put the town on notice earlier this year that many properties are in noncompliance with the State cesspool mandate and that the town must take action to address the issue.

"Where the problem is coming from - runoff, septics - we know there is a number of failed septic systems," said Leroy Kendricks, chair of the Tiverton Wastewater Management Committee at at Town Council meeting last week. "Maybe it's not the entire problem, but it certainly has contributed and I think we should take this seriously and get ahead of it."

According to Kendricks, the town's north end, including Riverside Drive, properties along Bay, Hilton, Hooper, and Judson streets, Summerfield Lane and County Terrace are all areas known to have failed systems and being considered for sewering in the facilities expansion.

"That is a waterfront area and it is the town's, not just the people that live on the water," said "When the beach gets closed down, that's the town beach - not the person who lives on Riverside's beach."

Last week, the Town Council authorized wastewater facility Supt. John Lincourt to spend $58,500 to study the contamination issue and where it would be necessary to install sewers in the future.

"It is in the interest of the town that a comprehensive solution be developed as opposed to an ad hoc or different resolution for each individual citizen," said Kendricks. "We need a solution that takes care of the whole thing, this is a less expensive solution and proper solution and this facilities plan is doing the right thing to lower cost in the area and is also doing it the right way."

Kendricks said it is not the goal of the commission to sewer the entire town, but just the areas where it makes sense. He said residents would not be forced to tie in immediately. Residents with failed systems would have to tie in sooner, but others would likely have 10 - 20 years to save up.

"The point is not to force sewers where they don't make economic sense," said Kendricks. "We asked the engineer to mark critical areas first where sewers are needed to deal with the [contamination]. This isn't an effort to force sewers onto the whole town, but to do the right thing and plan for something that makes sense."

Residents outside of the sewer district would not be taxed to support the facilities expansion.

The expansion would also make it easier for business entering the proposed industrial park off of Fish Road to tie into the system - something Kendrick's said would be in the economic best interest of the town.

"In the areas known to have failed septic systems and cess pools - Riverside Drive, Main Streen, down to Nonaquacket bridge, you will find Republicans, Democrats, members of the TCC, people on the school board, organizations like Tiverton 1st, everyone in town is covered by those areas so i assure you that this is something that represents all the people of Tiverton not just one specific group," said Kendricks. "It's an environmental issue, a technical issue and we are looking to help the town, to do things in the best interest of the town." 

Tiverton's Wastewater Management Commission will meet tonight at 5 p.m. at the Tiverton Community Center, 346 Judson St. According to the agenda filed with the Secretery of State, members will discuss terms of the facilities plan update.

KSilvia September 17, 2012 at 05:27 PM
The voters at the FTR said NO. The voters at the FTR wanted more information. I heard these same exact arguments at the FTR hearing - but the people still said no. Why is the Council ignoring the people, why bother having a FTR?? So frustrating. Article states: "The state Department of Environmental Management put the town on notice earlier this year that many properties are in noncompliance with the State cesspool mandate." So if the state has already mandated fixing the cesspools, why aren't they in compliance? Why isn't anyone forcing compliance of the state law instead of asking other Tiverton residents to pay for this? Kendrick says residents outside the system won't be taxed. Well you are spending taxpayer money - how is that NOT having taxpayers outside of these areas paying for it? Who is the Tiverton Wastewater Management Committee? Is this another quasi-public entity? Something is not adding up here.
Just Another Taxpayer September 17, 2012 at 05:41 PM
In addition to ignoring the will of residents(the little people) where is funding come from to pay for the study since it was not included in this year's budget? It is my understanding that this action may be a charter violation. I guess time will tell.
Dom Mazzetti September 17, 2012 at 06:02 PM
School budget...
oldandtired September 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM
You are absolutely correct KSilvia. Instead of enforcing the state law requiring those who are polluting our waters to upgrade their systems, the Council under the auspices of "protecting the environment" are going to force all of us to pay. By the way, this law is NOT new and there are low cost loans in place to help people pay for the needed upgrades. "I assure you that this is something that represents all the people of Tiverton not just one specific group," said Kendricks." Actually no Mr. Kendrick it is just one specific group! A group who doesn't want to fix their outdated cesspools and instead this Council wants the taxpayers to foot the bill. What about all of us who have already upgraded - will the town be giving a refund. I certainly hope so. This Council has no idea what they are doing and continue to spend, spend, spend.
oldandtired September 17, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Oh and he says "Residents outside of the sewer district would not be taxed to support the facilities expansion." Really, how is the town going to pay the millions of dollars necessary to actually put in these sewer lines? Let me guess- BONDS!!
Just Another Taxpayer September 17, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The TCC-Town Council already tried to do this but failed miserably when they illegally took $600,000 from the School Department's budget which they were forced to return it.
Lawton Ave. 1st September 17, 2012 at 09:12 PM
A big thank you to all of the councilors who voted for this. You will all receive our support this fall for "bringing home the bacon". It's not often we have been able to spread the costs benefiting so few among so many. Additional kudos for bringing home the the bacon on the pump out boat that will benefit so few, but mean so much to us luxury boaters. Going against the FTR vote took some real courage. Thank you for your leadership.
TECH September 17, 2012 at 09:13 PM
OK, this may be a niave comment, but I'll say it anyway. Isn't it the property owner's responsbility to make sure their septic system/cess pool is not failing? Voters in this town have said they don't want to pay for sewers. So if my cess pool is leaking into the ocean, it is my responsibility to pay for a new septic system. The DEM should be putting the property owner on notice and fining them, not the town. I live in a part of town that would benefit from sewers, but it's too cost prohibitive and I recognize that. The only thing it could benefit is the proposed industrial park. If tax revenues from the industrial park would offset the cost of sewers, then it's a good idea.
James Arruda September 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Yes I agree, and from what I know, some property owners did fix some of their systems already, and paying quite a bit to do so.
James Arruda September 17, 2012 at 09:18 PM
What bothers me about that statement is will that be the stepping stone to more fees? Sewer usage fee? If that happens then should there be a Police and Fire usage fee? School usage fee ( I am sure there are many who would want this)? What about those that already upgraded their systems to above ground septics? Now they will have to tie into a sewer line eventually? And pay twice? Upgraded septic and now remove that and tie into the sewer? There is a reason why this was cut by the Budget Committee, but yes that is a good question on where the $60,000 is coming from. Is it being added to the budget or is something else being cut to pay for this study?
Joe Sousa. September 17, 2012 at 09:23 PM
"The state Department of Environmental Management put the town on notice earlier this year that many properties are in noncompliance with the State cesspool mandate and that the town must take action to address the issue." This is where the big lie starts. The town passed a plan back when Miss Durfee and Paul Caroll were on the council. The plan required home owner to replace cesspools and failed systems in different parts of town starting with the Stafford pond area. It required a different part of town to comply over a five year plan . All homes in these areas had to comply or seek a waiver for hard ship. That plan was accepted by DEM and a waste water district was created. This council is not telling people the truth with this action. The Town is in compliance and many have updated their systems. This council has not done it's home work and is sending us in the wrong direction. The home owners along the river could form a coop and install a cluster system. This was the plan before this council changed it. The town had an agreement . The lie is we need sewers to comply.
Joe Sousa. September 17, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Storm water is a different issue and the State is after us over that as well. Our storm drains carry water from the streets in town down to the river. Some people were illegally dumping in to them. The town has worked to stop the illegally dumping . DEM is never satisfied laying unfunded mandates on us year after year. I have had it with unfunded mandates. If the State legislature doesn't fund it they expect the property tax to pay for it. IT'S TIME TO SAY GO TO HELL DEM! The Legislature needs to hear from all of us.
Gloria Crist September 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM
So all this is done so Nancy Driggs can get her her hook up? I'll like a refund on my green septic we were forced to install please?
Meesh September 18, 2012 at 01:15 PM
so.......if I have already spent over 30,000 on a new septic 4 years ago......because the town didn't know what the heck they were going to do...maybe i'll wait the full 20 years to do something about it..
KSilvia September 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Exactly Gloria, all of those Main Rd. residents that proudly displayed their "Support Nelson budget #2" during the FTR are now being rewarded by the TCC Council. Disgraceful.
Jim L September 18, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Proff of the driggs hookup please?And how were you forced to install a system by the TCC? EXplain if possible?
KSilvia September 18, 2012 at 04:47 PM
So let's make a list of things the people wnated that were ignored: Sell schools - nope. Still own one. No sewer study. Nope. Just passed paying for one. No pump out boat. Nope, one on the way. Others that I have missed?
Jim L September 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Good idea i'll make a list of questions asked more than once one here and ask them at the public forums to, can't wait, May the person asked the question will finally stand up and answer
KSilvia September 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
@ Joe Sousa or oldandtired: How will the bonds work for a sewer?
Jim L September 18, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Mr Arruda , how will bonds work for a sewer , is Curb real?
Joe Sousa. September 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Most likely DEM will accept the study and conclude sewers are needed. Then they will threaten the town with fines till we pass a bond. This is what is playing out in Portsmouth. We were lucky to have the former head of DEM to get a settlement with that agency that created the waste water district. This study will change that agreement and force sewers to be built at a cost of over ten million dollars.
Gerry Jones September 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM
All so Jane doe/nancy dreggs can have a sewer hook up and all the pro-TCC folks along main road down to Nanaquacket bridge get theirs, too. What do you have to say for your TCC buddies,now, Jiml? Still support their spending of our tax dollars for something that was voted down? Or is your koolaid too strong? Joe's roght, DEM will now take this study and force Tiverton to switch to sewers all because the TCC wants to pay back their buddies.
Just Another Taxpayer September 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Gerry, who are you kidding the Real Jim L will benefit if sewers are installed. That is why is doesn't have anyhing to say regarding the TCC/Town Council's approval of the $58,000 sewer study.

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