Wareham affordable housing project to generate $103,000 in sewer fees

By Matthew Bernat | May 24, 2018
Sewer officials were told this affordable housing project proposed in East Wareham will generate $103,000 in annual fees.

A large affordable housing project proposed for East Wareham would generate $103,000 in annual fees, sewer officials learned Thursday.

Known as Woodland Cove, the controversial 174-unit project was announced last year by Waltham-based developer Dakota Partners. Plans call for constructing six, three- and four-story buildings along with a community building, open space area and parking. The project is slated for 3102 Cranberry Highway, near the Red Brook Road intersection.

Since then, residents and officials have expressed deep concern with the potential impacts it would have on the town’s infrastructure, schools and public safety.

At previous public hearings, officials debated if a taxed sewer system would be grounds to deny the project a permit. Under the state’s affordable housing law, known as Chapter 40B, zoning regulations are relaxed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of homes or apartments are considered affordable. In Wareham, 7.7 percent of residences are affordable. The law is designed to incentivize developers to create more affordable housing in the state.

However, 40B affords developers many protections, according to Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha.

“The law is on their side,” Campinha told Sewer Commissioners on Thursday. “The bottom line is we can ask for things to minimize impact to our system.”

Officials do not yet have an estimate on how much the project would cost to accommodate using current infrastructure.

Those may include seeking funds to upgrade pump stations and sewer lines. In the meantime, commissioners directed Campinha to attend a continued Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing where traffic and sewer studies related to the project will be discussed.

The meeting is set for June 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center, 48 Marion Road.

Comments (17)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 24, 2018 22:00

Is $103,000 being announced as a good thing?  Are we supposed be relieved by the fact that this sucky housing project will at least generate some revenue?  Believe me, the sewerage that gets removed for $103K is nothing compared to all the other s**t left behind that must be contended with in a densely populated affordable housing facility.


It is so discouraging to hear statements like “The law is on their side,”  It doesn't seem fair or even rational that 40B allows them to strong arm their way and get whatever they want.  What laws are on our side?  What is our town's lawyer/legal council doing to prevent this?  There's got to be something.




Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 25, 2018 05:51

Let’s not spit shine this turd. I knew the rates would be what they would be because they have to be. I want to know if they will be paying the same betterment fees per unit that others in Town had to pay. That should be generating 3.1 million.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 25, 2018 05:53

3.1 million in addition to the 100k per year


Posted by: Steve Holmes | May 25, 2018 11:16

Sphere check that number again. If i remember right that is per tie in, not per apartment. Until we hit the threshold there are no laws on our side. How is the District making out with their opposition?

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 25, 2018 11:32

an apartment utilizes the sewer system no less than a single family home. If any new home in sewered areas is built they need to pay the Betterment if its not paid already. In this case they are building 174 new "homes" and should be paying 174 betterments for them. I thought that the minimum betterment for a new home was the same as the greatest betterment paid to date which would put it at around $18,000 per "new home".  If they had to put in a septic for that many new homes and costs would be up there. This project should not be exempt from betterments and ride on the backs of those that paid to sewer the town. $18000X174= $3132000. They either pay or they take take their project elsewhere. Camphina and the Town need to force this issue down these shysters throats. They pay or buzz off.

Posted by: Uptohere | May 25, 2018 14:37

103k is nothing compared to what it will cost us in everything else. Take your spin and sit on it.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | May 25, 2018 16:07

A recent Marion Selectmen candidates debate, (as covered by Sippican Week) eluded to the possibility that Marion may in the future tie into Wareham as a means of solving it's sewer problems.


To quote Selectman candidate, John Waterman,  "Wareham does have the capacity, and they’re an option and one we definitely need to consider."


Can anyone explain how Wareham could possibly have the capacity for Marion to tie in to Wareham's sewer system?





Posted by: Fortywhat2 | May 26, 2018 08:44

So, let’s see.  We close our 5th elementary school and build 174 unit, low income, apartment complex.  How many families who qualify as low income have young children?  Ok we jam those kids into “portable” classrooms (because Wareham is all about portable classrooms), now you have 40-50 kids per room, you’ve already laid off teachers so what do you do now?  Why don’t the property owners build one in their neighborhood and have their children go to a school with portable classrooms housing 40-50 children per classroom.  I don’t have school age children, imagine how the people who do feel.  Then we go to Cranberry Highway... how many kids will run across Cranberry Highway, because it’s what kids do.  How many will get hit?  Is the state planning on putting a traffic light there?  Now think about Red Brook Road... people fly off cranberry highway, how many kids will get hit crossing to go to 7-11?  How about the people who live in that area... they bought homes in a rural area with trees etc, do you think they would have purchases the same property with a 174 unit, low income, housing?  I think not.  What do you think that will do to there property values?  I don’t live in that area but have compassion for those who do.  I have just touched the surface.  I can not believe the town doesn’t have the something that can squash this project.  I can not believe the property was zoned for something like this.  I just can not believe this is even a consideration.

Posted by: bruce gannon | May 26, 2018 09:58

the $18,000 per house is a 1 time fee, the $103,000 is annual revenue. Apartments regardless of 40B status would never be individually subject to the betterment the developer would pay that at time of construction and no it would not be $18,000 times 174 to suggest that apartments use the same sewer and water as a 2000 sq ft home with 1 and 1/2 baths, washer and dryer and 4 people etc etc etc... is there still an issue of capacity, maybe but comparing numbers that are unrelated for the purposes of creating an exaggerated circumstance is poor form.

Posted by: Uptohere | May 26, 2018 11:31

I recently posted with Sen Marc Pacheco and related to him how bad the "project" is for our town. I also posted to him that he should speak with the BOS about our serious infastructure problem and that his backing of 40b will do considerable damage to our town. I included the townhall address and phone number. I suggest the BOS reach out at this time to him if they are truly against this enormous atrocitiy being pushe' down our throats.

Posted by: Uptohere | May 26, 2018 11:41

Follow up to my above post. I just emailed using the town hall email to the BOS this very post.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | May 26, 2018 13:55

Apartments are not tie ins. You pay the betterment per stubb installed. I do believe the 18K number was the last one voted on. So it would be 18K times the number of tie ins. Not sure what the site plans call for but the most you couldnget would be one per building. Although I am guessing it will be less than that. Ao you will getba one time tie in, plus the regular sewer and water usage fee. Thats it.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | May 26, 2018 13:58

Sen. Pacheco is a great resource however when it to 40B not much he can do he is only one Senator.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 26, 2018 19:26

There is about to be 174 units of snap food excrement going thru pipes that others paid for with their betterment’s , That same dung will be passing thru pump stations that others paid for. Letting them pay a one time 18,000 betterment is BS and not proportional to the usage of pipes others paid for. Pipes were oversized during the initial construction, homeowners paid more than they should have if pipes for the initial usage because smaller pipes and pump stations could have been used. Its time today to pay the fiddler for those that are about to use the extra capacity that was built in and paid for by the initial betterment payers. This is way more that the cost of cutting in a tee fitting and walking away with robbery. Campinha and the Town should be fighting for justice against this travesty about to be forced upon us by weasels like Pacheco and his democrat minions.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 26, 2018 19:27

This is a warehouse of votes just waiting to be tapped when needed with handouts

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 29, 2018 00:01

Andrea, I just saw your comment about Marion.  A few things come to mind:  First, it doesn’t surprise me that Marion would feel entitled to send their poo to Wareham.  Kinda like what NYC does to New Jersey!  I had to say something goofy.  Now here’s something more serious & professional.  Second, the logistics of it are complicated by the Weweantic River. Currently Wareham only has one sewer line running from Rose Point across the bottom of the river in a trench to First Avenue.  That one can’t handle the town of Marion. They’d need to run a big pipe along the underside of the Rt. 6 Bridge or dredge a trench across the bottom of the river for a bigger pipe. Third, Mattapoisett currently takes some of Marion, which then gets treated at the Fairhaven plant.  Why can’t it all go that way? Fourth, Wareham currently uses open detention ponds to hold what it can’t handle.  In the summer months, Wareham’s influent goes through preliminary treatment (mechanical screening & grit removal) and gets diverted into two massive detention ponds.  Each is the sizes of a football field.  It’s still raw sewerage in the ponds.  There it gets aerated to prevent it from going too septic while it sits waiting for the plant to be able to handle it.  Even though they aerate it, the ponds still stink.  The smell from the ponds has been a bone of contention with neighbors. Rightfully so because those are what you can smell when driving by.  They tried floating a matrix of interlocking blocks in the ponds to create a cover to hold down the smell. The blocks work in theory but I don’t know how well they worked in reality.  A plant that keeps up with its influent flow normally doesn’t stink too badly. Letting thousands of gallons stack up is less than ideal but it’s the best and only solution for undersized plants.  Wareham is undersized during peak summer months.  Two of the only options are to expand the plant or enclose the ponds.


There’s four reasons why we can’t take Marion’s sewerage.

Posted by: Uptohere | Jun 01, 2018 09:37

You are absolutely correct,  there isn' much Pacheco can do against it when he is part of it. He seems to be playing us on this. The only thing we should do is vote him out.

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