Yarmouth Voters Tackling First Major Wastewater Hurdle of $200M

YARMOUTH – Yarmouth may soon start its first major phase of its Comprehensive Wastewater Plan, if voters give the go-ahead at April 25’s Town Meeting. 

Article 18 would approve over $200 million to build a Municipal Water Resource Recovery Facility and sewer along Route 28, but Town Administrator Rob Whritenour said not all of the funding would fall on taxpayers’ shoulders.

“We’ve committed the short-term rental income that the town derives as a source of funds from tourism to directly fund the wastewater project. Over 40 percent of this project is going to be paid for,” said Whritenour. 

Alongside business contributions and betterments, homeowners in the plan’s coverage area are only responsible for about 15% of the project’s total cost. 

Those not in the service area will not face any kind of charge, added Whritenour. 

The town officials said it’s the biggest hurdle for the project, with future phases of the 40-year plan expected to be smaller in both budget and timeline. 

“Yarmouth does not have the Wastewater system at this time so essentially we’re building something from scratch. So that does take a long period of time. There are a couple of other communities on Cape Cod that are expanding their system, so they’re in a little bit of a different situation than we are,” said Jeff Colby, Department of Public Works Director for the town.

“So it does take us longer to address all of the areas of Yarmouth that need to be in order to remove the nitrogen which is required according to our studies and the Department of Environmental Protection in order to clean up our waters.”

They expect that wastewater plan will meet the state’s requirements to apply for a watershed permit under the proposed Title 5 septic regulation changes, absolving residents of having to make costly upgrades to their septic systems on a home-by-home basis if they live nearby a sensitive watershed. 

Yarmouth Town Meeting will be held at Mattacheese Middle School at 6 pm on April 25.

The full Sunday Journal interview with Whritenour and Colby can be listened to here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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