To the editor: The Board of the Sconset Civic Association commends the Select Board, acting as the Sewer Commissioners, and the Finance Committee for recommending against the adoption of Warrant Article No.18, which proposes expanding the sewer district to Codfish Park, a cherished historic neighborhood below the Sconset Bank.
On behalf of the over 500 members of the Sconset Civic Association, we join Codfish Park residents in opposing this citizen warrant article filed on behalf of the owners of 8 Bank Street, a rental property, who want to add more bedrooms, including a deep basement right into the bank. This house, like all others in Codfish Park, has a septic system, which limits the number of bedrooms it can have. Expanding the sewer district is an attempt by these owners get around this limitation.
However, sewering Codfish Park is unnecessary and unwise, posing disruptive risks and a waste of taxpayer dollars. There is no water quality issue that a sewer expansion could solve, and the area is not identified for sewering in the Town’s Wastewater Plan.
Furthermore, adding sewer infrastructure would require excavating low-lying streets and Middle Gully (the gully connecting Codfish Park with Front Street at the top of the Bank) to pump the wastewater up to the main sewer line under Front Street. Land would have to be taken by eminent domain for grinder pumps, holding tanks and collection lines. Individual homeowners who don’t even want this sewer expansion would be responsible for the financial burden of installing pumps and backup generators and upgrading electrical systems.
The construction process itself would pose a significant risk, as a collapse of the gully during construction would result in the loss of an important emergency access route, take out the water supply line underneath it, and jeopardize the integrity of the Sconset Bank itself. The Sewer, Planning and Health Directors oppose this article and are concerned that “the active movement of soil there would destabilize the sewer main” and that sewer pipe excavation “could further destabilize the entire Codfish Park village.”
We urge all voters to protect this environmentally sensitive area by voting against Article 18, as well as against any amendment that may be offered to add only 8 Bank Street to the sewer district. Allowing random, piecemeal sewering of individual homes makes even less sense.
President, Siasconset Civic Association