Officials: Wareham sewer rates won't rise for $10 million project

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha, left, listens as Town Administrator Derek Sullivan advocates for transferring money from saved accounts to offset the cost of a $10 million project.

A costly, critical sewer line repair won’t raise ratepayers’ bills officials said before voters will be asked to fund the project at the April 23 Town Meeting.

The project calls for relining a reinforced concrete pipe that runs for 2.2-miles from Swifts Beach to behind the Narrows pump station. At nearly 50 years old, Wareham Board of Sewer Commissioner Chair Jim Giberti said the pipe is nearing the end of its life expectancy. Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha said if the pipe fails, sewage will leak into nearby wetlands, causing a environmental disaster and costing the town millions of dollars in cleanup.

Relining the pipe could cost up to $10 million. To pay for the project, officials will use $5 million from savings and borrow $5 million. That should help garner support from voters at Town Meeting, said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan.

“With these reserves, you can mitigate the expenses,” Sullivan said. “We’re up against a constituency that’s getting hit left and right."

At Town Meeting, voters will be asked to authorize spending $2.5 million from the sewer department’s saved revenue account and $2.5 million from its capital appropriation account, which is set up to fund infrastructure improvements.

Campinha said that right now there is $5.7 million in the saved revenue account and $5.9 million in the capital appropriation account.

He noted that official quotes haven’t been received for the project. Early estimates indicate the project could cost as much as $9.2 million, but could be less. Unused funds will be returned to the respective accounts if the project costs less.

Comments (7)
Posted by: bob | Apr 20, 2018 15:58

Maybe someone could tell  me,how long is the relining pipe warranty, for this project.....1 week,1 month,1 year,10 years etc...



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Apr 20, 2018 16:15

I’m reading 5 mill from savings and 5 mill borrowed. Where is there a mention of grants? Where is request to to federal government? Where is the request to the State? Where is the request from the Towns up stream polluting our water and causing Wareham residents to pay to sewer up while they continue to pollute? Sounds to me there is much work to be done by the sewer department and sewer commission before spending 10 million on patching a 50 year old pipe thats at its end. For that kind of money i want a brand new gold plated one with viewing ports. For a $1000 a foot i don’t think its much to ask. Don’t even say that a new pipe cant be placed for less $1000 a foot



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Apr 20, 2018 16:41

"Relining the pipe could cost up to $10 million. To pay for the project, officials will use $5 million from savings and borrow $5 million. That should help garner support from voters at Town Meeting, said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan."

 

If my understanding of the above quote is correct tax payers (not just sewer users) will be responsible for funding the borrowing of $5 million.

 

Could we please have an estimate of the cost impact per $1000 of property evaluation? I understand that due to interest rate fluctuations an exact quote is impossible, but surely an estimate is possible.

 

And please don't answer with a cost per average home value, that formula only works for someone whose home matches the average home value. Tax payers know their property evaluation; all they need  is an estimated cost per $1000 of evaluation in order to calculate a reasonable estimate of the cost impact upon their tax bill.

 

 



Posted by: shop247 | Apr 21, 2018 12:34

A costly, critical sewer line repair won’t raise ratepayers’ bills officials said before voters will be asked to fund the project at the April 23 Town Meeting. And somehow, I don't believe you!

My sewer rate might not go up, but there will be money-grab somewhere to pay for it.



Posted by: baron1701@yahoo.com | Apr 23, 2018 20:29

Wait, I have a fairly new septic. I hope I am not paying into this!



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 23, 2018 20:43

Baron,  just because you don't pay for sewerage, it sounds like you will still pay through a tax increase.  We all will.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Apr 24, 2018 05:58

Baron, Those that are already sewered have paid dearly already, many with fairly new septics and many more with functioning septics. Everyone enjoys the beaches and shellfish so everyone must pay.



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