Mashpee Selectmen Pull Wastewater Articles from Town Meeting Warrant

MASHPEE – Selectmen in Mashpee have decided to postpone all action on a proposed wastewater treatment facility by withdrawing related articles from the spring town meeting warrant.

The articles would have asked residents to approve $2.5 million for the design of the Asher’s Path plant and a sewer collection system to reduce nitrogen pollution from the Mashpee River watershed.

Selectmen chair Carol Sherman said there were too many unanswered questions after a meeting with the finance committee on the project.

“We don’t know who is going to be liable for the cost, who is going to run the treatment plant, who is going to be the head of the sewer,” Sherman said. “Is it going to be a district? Is it going to be run by the town?”

Sherman said town leaders need more education on the project before it can be brought to residents and taxpayers.

“It is not fair to have our voters vote on something that we don’t even understand,” Sherman said.

The project has also raised concerns from residents in the Asher’s Path neighborhood due to the proximity of the proposed plant to homes.

The facility would be located near the transfer station off Asher’s Path.

Charles Dedecko is a resident on Carleton Drive and says he is concerned because his home is right across the street from the proposed plant.

“I don’t know if they are going to remove all the trees or not, or if I’m going to be able to look at it or what,” Dedecko said.

Dedecko is also concerned about the possibility of a foul odor.

“There is no way they can hide it – no way they can guarantee there won’t be an odor,” Dedecko said. “So that is my main concern.”

Dedecko and several other neighbors are also concerned about decreasing property values which could result from the closeness to the plant.

“The minute that thing goes in that is the end of the value of this house,” he said.

Sherman said town officials will consider the concerns of residents in the area.

“We have to take everything into consideration,” she said. “It’s not fair and I wouldn’t want it done to me and we live here too.”

Next steps by the board will be to gather input from the town’s sewer committee.

“We haven’t heard from them as of yet,” Sherman said.

Sherman said the project is too big to get wrong.

“That is why we have taken baby steps, but apparently we jumped a little bit too fast and that is why we have pulled back,” she said.

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