Phase Three Sewer Forum Set For Next Week

by William F. Galvin
Water/wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier provides a scheduled for phase three in East Harwich. FILE PHOTO Water/wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier provides a scheduled for phase three in East Harwich. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – The third phase of the town’s comprehensive wastewater management plan, which involves additional sewering for East Harwich, is expected to go out to bid in April, and construction could be underway by mid-summer.

The water/wastewater commission and the town’s consulting engineers GHD Inc. will be conducting a public information session on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the community center to inform residents about the details of the project, which is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete and will carry a $50,900,000 price tag. Funding for this phase was approved in the annual town meeting last May.

Water/wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier said the session will inform residents about what they can expect during the construction. Topics of discussion will include construction contracts; identifying sewer service types and locations; pump station locations; traffic control; and what residents can expect during and after construction.

Holding a sewer information meeting during the winter may not be the best timing for everyone, Pelletier said, since some homeowners may not be in town. Another information meeting will be held once the project is bid and before construction starts, he added.

Two contracts will be put out to bid simultaneously. Both will provide sewers to the east and north side of the Routes 137-39 intersection in the commercial district in the village. One contract will cover roads and subdivisions along Route 39 just east of the fire substation extending to Meetinghouse Village and the Brewster town line. The other will focus on roads and subdivisions, including Standish Woods, along Pleasant Bay Road.

The phase will bring sewers to 636 homes, according to Pelletier. More extensive engineering work has been done for phase three, so more precise information is available for locations where sewer pipes connect with residential properties, he said, adding that the town continues to work on obtaining easements to locate three pump stations as part of this phase.

With bids expected to be opened in May, contracts should be in place before the end of June, allowing the town to access state revolving funds for the project. Pelletier said the town received a loan commitment last week from the Clean Water Trust for $49,876,300 with a 2 percent interest likely to be reduced to zero percent since Harwich is considered a “tier one disadvantaged community.: He also said the loan includes a 3.3 percent principal forgiveness.

The actual infrastructure construction cost for the project is estimated at $44 million with an additional $6.9 million in projected expenses outside of construction costs, including police details, construction contingency, and fees for GHD Inc. for overseeing the project.

“There are also a couple of other buckets of money,” Pelletier said of offsetting the cost. The town should receive funds from the federal infrastructure bill through nutrient management provisions and through the Cape Cod Water Protection Fund, he said, estimating that could reduce the cost of the phase by up to 35 percent or $17,500,000.

Pelletier said sewer work could start as early as August, focusing first on small side streets and not the main roadways. Major construction would get underway in the fall. One of the first documents the contractor will be providing is a construction schedule, he added.

This project is larger than phase, he said, projecting that it would take two to two-and-a-half years to complete. It will likely be three years from July before notices are issued from the town instructing property owners to connect to the sewer. Homeowners would have two years to connect, he noted.