Yarmouth Residents Approve First Phase of Sewer Project

YARMOUTH – Yarmouth residents voted to approve the appropriation of $5.2 million for the design, permitting, and construction related to the first phase of the town’s wastewater collection system at this week’s town meeting.

“There’s no questions that Cape has to deal with the nitrogen loading issues as a result of septic systems on Cape Cod and this is the critical first step,” said Friends of Bass River Executive Director Rick Bishop.  

“This saves Yarmouth millions of dollars because we are able to put the phase one pipes in the ground before the state tackles anymore work on Route 28.”

As part of the Dennis, Harwich, and Yarmouth Clean Water Partnership, Yarmouth is expected to have an aggregate saving of 35 percent by working as a tri-town group to construct the wastewater treatment system.

The article may also allow Yarmouth to potentially construct the project without raising property taxes.

Had the article failed to get approval at the town meeting, the next time it could have been reconsidered is five years from now.

“There’s a state mandate that once a major road has been repaved you have a no touch rule,” said Bishop.  

“You can’t open it up again to do any work.”   

The Friends of Bass River is currently in the midst of applying for a number of grant applications to improve the headwaters of Bass River.

They are also just beginning a weekly water testing program for the river to monitor the conditions of nitrogen and other compounds.

The test will provide a strong data base for the community moving forward.

The organization hopes to restore the original wetlands to the area.

“We are planning on being part of the solution in some non-traditional ways,” said Bishop.

Bishop added that he is thankful that the people of Yarmouth approved the article with an almost unanimous decision.

“The Friends of Bass River are extremely pleased that the voters supported the concept of Article #11,” Bishop said.  

“It’s critically important to the health of the town’s watershed, and it’s a critical step moving forward.”

Though the article was approved by town voters, it has yet to be determined when phase one of the project will begin.

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