Proposed Clean Waters Community Partnership Hits Snag Over Oversight Concerns

DENNIS – A proposal to create the Dennis-Harwich-Yarmouth Clean Waters Community Partnership appears to have hit a snag as it works its way through the approval process.

Selectmen in Dennis have opted to delay approval of the partnership as they continue to consider the financial implications of the agreement, and grapple with concerns over oversight.

“I agree that we need to move forward and I agree that if we have to do it this is probably the best way,” said Dennis Finance Committee member Jim Plath.

“However, I am very concerned setting up a political entity of the state in which the town now has to pay the bill.

If approved by each of the three towns, the partnership would create an independent entity tasked with overseeing a single, regionalized sewer district.

Officials throughout the towns have expressed concern that without any oversight, the new entity would have unlimited bonding authority without supervision or input from the residents who will be on the hook for any costs.

“The commission members who are going to be signing the bonds are appointed by the board of selectmen in each of the towns,” said Dennis and Harwich Town Attorney John Giorgio, “but once they’re appointed, they do have the authority to incur debt, they only have to give notice.”

While the proposal received initial support from town meeting voters in each town and backing from the state legislature, selectmen in Harwich, Dennis, and Yarmouth have all been hesitant to grant final approval.

Following the decision to hold-off on approval, Dennis Selectmen indicated that they will work with the other towns to work out their concerns.

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