Michael Schrader, Project Manager for Tighe & Bond gives a presentation on EPA mandated storm water management during the Webster Board of Selectmen Meeting, July 23, 2012.
By Thomas D’Agostino
WEBSTER - The Webster Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator watched a presentation on stormwater management presented by Michael Schrader of environmental specialists Tighe & Bond on Monday night. The stormwater management project is part of the EPA’s approach to improving water quality. The project was implemented in the 1970s as a three-point program. The first was to address wastewater treatment plants. In the 1990’s urban stormwater was addressed. The next phase, started in 2003, has been the issue of suburban stormwater.
The presentation struck a major discord with the board when it came to the point of having stormwater as a utility; in other words, the burden of cost for the treatment and proper catching of the stormwater would go to the taxpayers. The town presently has a stormwater system in place but the maintenance for it comes out of the general fund. . The problem being addressed at this point is where it ends up. There are additional requirements mandated by the EPA to control and clean this water up.
The town has been classified as an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems), meaning that the stormwater would need a separate conveyance system that would collect the water and not be combined with sewer or part of a publicly owned sewer treatment plant. The project is a five-year program that is funded by the State Revolving Fund and will include six steps for compliance. 1. Stormwater by-law development, 2. Stormwater management program, 3. Public education and outreach, 4. Illicit discharge detection and elimination, 5. Construction site stormwater runoff control and 6. Pollution prevention and good housekeeping.
Selectman Robert Miller was very concerned about what the taxpayers may be up against.
Webster DPW Superintendent, J.T. Gaucher is among the group of Webster officials working on the EPA compliance program. His research concluded that the average community will face a one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand dollar cost to comply with the five-year permit and the cost to the average taxpayer would be about twenty-five dollars a year. (This is based on other municipalities already implementing the program.) Board chairman Donald Bourque also voiced his opinion in opposition to the program, stating in effect that if the federal government wants to tax the rain falling from the sky, what may be next, the sun’s rays?
Robert Miller then spoke in regard to the water running into the lake. “The state owns the lake, why are they not paying for it?”
Webster is regulated by the EPA Phase II stormwater rule and has been advised to take action now, as the funding will become more competitive, and to avoid potential fines.
For more information, you may visit the Webster Town website at www.webster-ma.gov/
Pledge of License for Talia Inc. dba Tal’s Place was granted.
The signing of the September Election Warrant was also passed. Voters may go to the town website to view the warrant.
Mohegan Bowl was also granted an “Indoor” Entertainment License.
A Nuisance Dog Hearing has been scheduled for the next Board of Selectmen Meeting August 13, 2012 at 6:30 involving a fight at the beach between two dogs.
The fees for a cordial license at one hundred dollars above a beer and wine license was also passed. A beer and wine license is $425.00 and is considered a fifty per cent license. Cordial licenses would be a seventy five per cent liquor license, costing the applicant $525.00 for the license.