The Marion Selectmen wrapped up two years of work on the Town’s wastewater management at the August 5 meeting. In their capacity as Water and Sewer Commissioners, the Board met with Department of Public Works Superintendent Rob Zora, Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Frank Cooper, and Shawn Syde of CDM Smith with regard to the sewer regulation.
CDM Smith was hired to review and recommend changes to the Sewer Ordinance, which every town is required to have, and Marion’s was last updated in April 2002. Syde explained that some of the added items included requirements that are now more in line with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, such as provisions for storm water systems. Other provisions help regulate food handling facilities and the disposal of fats, oils, and greases, as well as an updated fee schedule.
“These changes should bring the Town’s sewer user ordinances up to current standards,” said Syde.
“This is important because everything that goes down the drain isn’t something we are prepared to treat. We want to explain this to anyone who cares to listen,” said Chairman Jon Henry. “That’s why we do this, folks.”
When asked if there was a deadline for adopting the new regulations, Zora said, “We’ve been working on these changes for almost two years and we’d like to see them adopted soon.”
Henry stated he would like a public input period prior to adoption. Town Administrator Paul Dawson told the selectmen that this item has been on the agenda at a few meetings and he has never had any questions brought to him.
The overall consensus was that there was always the flexibility to allow waivers, should they be needed, or modify the regulations with future votes. Henry agreed and at that point, the board voted to adopt the new regulations.
In other matters, while reviewing the Roadway Improvement Project, Dawson reported that they have discovered a number of residences that are tied into the storm water drainage system of which the Town was unaware, resulting in increased construction costs.
Dawson said he is currently looking into “how we’re going to deal with it, and how we’re going to pay for it,” as it is expected the cost will be around $3,500 per connection.
Also at the meeting, in an appointment with the Marion Pathways Committee, the board met with committee members Jeff Oakes, John Rockwell, and Kirk Coykendall. Prior to moving forward, the Pathways Committee needs to conduct public outreach and to document town-wide acceptance of the project by meeting with those who would be affected. They hope the selectmen would endorse the project, helping it move forward faster.
Selectman Jody Dickerson said that, as part of his job as recreation director, he walked the proposed area in Washburn Park affected by the pathway and feels the project would be beneficial.
The board voted to issue a letter of support for the program. Selectman Stephen Cushing noted that this is “a great project that has been needed for some time.”
Oakes wanted to inform residents that the Pathways Committee is recruiting new members and forming a ‘Friends of the Pathway’ group, and those interested can get in contact through the Town’s website.
Building Commissioner Scott Shippey reviewed two properties on Point Road that have derelict structures he feels are a hazard. He has attempted to locate heirs to the properties who are willing to take responsibility for them, as the owners are deceased, but was unable to locate anyone. He is seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) that will allow inspectors to legally enter the property and advise of any safety concerns. The board approved the TRO.
In other business, the board awarded the contract for the River Road, Point Road, Spring Street, and Pleasant Street projects to Lawrence Lynch Corp., who was the lowest bidder at $436,481. Dawson wanted to point out that this cost was well below the estimate for this phase of the project.
Selectmen approved a food service Common Victualler license for Kate’s Simple Eats at 148 Front Street, contingent upon receiving the proper Board of Health permits.
Henry requested that a letter of thanks be sent to Conservation Commission member Wendy Carreau who will not be seeking reappointment.
The Board signed the paperwork for the State Primary Election, which will be held on September 9 from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm at the VFW, Mill Street (Route 6), and approved a one-day liquor license for the VFW Annual Clambake on August 10.
The date of the Annual Block Party was set for August 23 from 4:00 to 9:45 pm, and the date for the annual Committee/Employee Appreciation Event was set for Wednesday, August 20. This event will be held at lunchtime for town employees, and then in the evening for committee members. Henry mentioned that the event included all town employees and volunteers from teachers to firefighters, and everyone in between.
The Board is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, August 19 at 7:00 pm at thePolice Station.
By Paul Lopes