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Yarmouth voters approve $200 million sewer expansion

bass river bridge yarmouth
Town of Yarmouth
The wastewater-management project would replace septic near Bass River, seen here, as well as Parkers River and Lewis Bay.

Town Meeting will address the construction of a water-treatment plant.

Update from 4/26/23

Last night, Yarmouth voters supported a plan to hook up thousands of homes and businesses along Route 28 to sewer.

About 1,000 residents attended Town Meeting with most approving the project, that also includes building a wastewater treatment plant.

Yarmouth voters on Tuesday will decide whether to set aside $207 million to connect thousands of homes and businesses to sewer.

The wastewater-management project would address excessive nitrogen in waterways by replacing septic near Bass River, Parkers River, and Lewis Bay.

Article 18 on the Town Meeting warrant will ask voters to consider approving the construction of a treatment plant, the first phase of the estimated 40-year sewage plan.

"The Cape is on a trajectory to address some of the impacts on the waterways in a very positive way," Yarmouth town administrator Bob Whritenour told Morning Edition host Patrick Flanary.

"By having that treatment plant, we'll be able to establish the main corridor that will enable us to branch off from that and really make progress in these watersheds a lot faster than if we just handled it one small neighborhood at a time."

The project would resemble the ongoing 30-year undertaking in neighboring Barnstable.

Without a comprehensive sewer approach, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will require homeowners to pay to upgrade to alternative septic.

Instead, tourists will pick up much of the tab, Whritenour said. Yarmouth voters last year approved paying for wastewater infrastructure through short-term rental tax revenue, which would cover 40 percent of the project.

Town Meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at Mattacheese Middle School.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.