Mashpee Town Meeting Is Tonight | Finance
Mashpee voters will gather outside in a tent on the stadium grounds adjacent to Mashpee High School on Monday, May 3, at 7 p.m. for the town meeting.
A special general assembly mandate with six articles and an annual general assembly mandate with 19 articles will be presented to the voters. A vote on a $ 54 million wastewater treatment and sewerage project will make headlines for the evening.
The sewer construction project is article 6 of the annual general meeting mandate. He is calling for debt exclusion and will require a two-thirds majority vote in the city assembly and majority approval in response to a voting question in the city’s annual election on Saturday, May 8. to be adopted.
If approved, the construction of a sewage treatment plant adjacent to the Mashpee Transfer Station and an adjoining sewer system extending west along Highway 28 to l Quinaquisset Avenue and south on Orchard Road and part of Mashpee Neck Road could start next spring.
The project, which comes after years of delay and as the city faces a potential lawsuit for nitrogen pollution from septic tanks, aims to address nitrogen pollution in the Mashpee River watershed by connecting more of 400 properties to the sewer system.
The Conservation Law Foundation announced last November a proposed lawsuit against the town of Mashpee which claims the town violates Title V of the Massachusetts Environmental Code whenever a septic tank emits nitrogen-laden effluent. is authorized or passes an inspection. The proposed lawsuit would seek a court order to suspend septic systems and inspections in the city.
The Mashpee River is one of the most nitrogen-polluted bodies of water in southeastern Massachusetts, with excess nitrogen fueling annual algal blooms that crowd out native plant life and habitat and absorb oxygen from the water column when algae breaks down.
The sewer construction project is the first phase of the city’s five-phase plan to address nitrogen pollution from sewage systems and wastewater treatment. The municipal assembly’s vote to build the first phase of the sewer system comes six years after the city finalized the five-phase clean water plan. The design for the first phase of the sewer project was adopted at the city meeting last June by a razor thin margin.
After years of preparation, city officials presented a united front, with Selectmen’s board and finance committee unanimously recommending that Mashpee voters approve the sewer construction project during Monday’s city meeting.
The project is not expected to increase taxes due to various internal and external revenue sources. City officials spent several weeks educating residents about the project through information posters and virtual forums that can be found on the city’s website.
If voters approved the $ 54 million debt exclusion, the full cost of the project would qualify for 2% interest loans from the state revolving fund’s drinking water program.
Section 8 on the city’s annual meeting mandate would establish flow-neutral bylaws that could further reduce interest on state revolving fund loans from 2% to 0%, which would allow the city to save millions of dollars in interest.
Neutral flow regulations, passed by several other Cape Cod towns, including Falmouth, would require property plots located in sewer service areas to remove all septic systems, which are the primary source of water pollution. nitrogen, and be connected to the sewer system.
The by-law would also set limits on the authorized flow of any property connected to the sewer system. For existing and new developments of single-family residences on plots of 40,000 square feet or less, four bedrooms would be authorized as of right.
The sewer project will be further financed by a grant from the Cape and Islands Water Protection Fund which will cover 25% of the total project cost as well as by the Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure Investment Fund of the city and income from a local short-term rental tax.
Also in front of Mashpee voters at next Monday’s town meeting, an operating budget of $ 62.3 million for fiscal year 2022. The budget – which is section 2 on the mandate of the assembly Annual General – represents a 1.9% increase over the FY21 budget.
The board of directors and finance committee unanimously recommended that voters approve the fiscal year 22 operating budget.
A capital improvement budget of $ 1.8 million, which is section 3 of the AGM’s mandate, will also be presented to voters. The capital improvement budget includes the purchase of vehicles for the Department of Public Works, the Department of Fire Rescue, the Department of Natural Resources and the Police Department, as well as various infrastructure improvements of the Mashpee Town Hall and Schools.
The board of directors and finance committee also unanimously recommended voters approve the capital improvement budget.
On the mandate of the city’s special assembly, Section 6 asks voters to approve $ 850,000 for the purchase and customization of two industrial-sized work bays in the Mashpee Industrial Park for use as installation of the Department of Natural Resources. City officials had previously considered building a new facility from scratch, but chose to save millions of dollars by purchasing the existing arrays instead.
The board of directors and the finance committee unanimously recommended that voters approve article 6 on the mandate of the special city assembly.