OSWPCA: Sunshine / OSWPCA Marshall's Letter to Harbor News 2Jul2009

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Letters To The Editor

Harbor News - 2Jul2009

High Stakes for Wastewater Plans

Over the course of many years and at great expense to the taxpayers, the Old Saybrook Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) has thoroughly investigated numerous approaches from the central sewer, community systems, and hybrids (on and off-site) to totally on-site. Due to the availability of suitable land only two options proved to be viable - the central sewer with a discharge to the Connecticut River and on-site septic systems. Our recommendation for decentralized on-site solutions is the most cost effective, satisfies the Connecticut Supreme Court's directive to remediate pollution, controls unwanted secondary growth, and is in keeping with the town's Plan of Conservation and Development. The financial package being offered involves 25 percent Clean Water Fund grant, 25 percent town funding of in-kind services, and the balance 50 percent low-interest (two-percent) loan over 20 years.

The WPCA has been working extremely hard this spring with the Connecticut River Area Health District, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Department of Public Health, and our consultants to finalize the details to make the Wastewater Management District (WWMD), with on-site septic system solutions, a possibility. In addition, the WPCA has been continuing its outreach program by holding neighborhood public education sessions tailored to the areas in the WWMD. Starting in January, with year-round residential areas and finishing up with summer communities in July, a total of 12 meetings will have occurred. We have also met with local realtors, land use commissions, and boards of Finance and Selectmen. The last scheduled neighborhood meeting will be held for Saybrook Manor, Plum Bank, and Great Hammock Beach on July 8 at 7 p.m. in the Old Saybrook Middle School. Others are welcome to attend. Our regular meetings are on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at the pavilion at Saybrook Point at 7:30 p.m.

The public hearing for the Decentralized Wastewater Management Program was held in mid-June and a town meeting on the WWMD ordinance referendum is scheduled for July 29. More details and reports on this wastewater issue are also available at Town Hall, Acton Library; and online at www.oswpca.org. We hope residents will have availed thrmselves of one or more of these opportunities in order to make an informed decision come the referendum on Aug. 11. The future of the town is at stake.
                Robbie Marshall, WPCA Info Specialist
         Old Saybrook Water Pollution Control Authority