SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The town manager is asking selectmen to consider installing a public sewer line along a nearly quarter-mile section of the Freeman Ridge Road.
Don Lagrange proposed the project Tuesday at a selectmen’s meeting, saying it would benefit existing homeowners as well as encourage new housing in the area of the town that has “the best potential” for future development.
The major concern of selectmen was how to pay for the project.
“I don’t know right now,” Lagrange said, adding that there is the possibility of using some of the unexpended surplus from the 2014-2015 fiscal year. How much money is available from surplus won’t be known until year-end accounting is completed. Another potential funding source is money left over from the Main Street project. Here, again, accounting has not been finalized. Nor were any estimates of the cost discussed.
Town ordinance requires property owners to hook into a public sewer line if that utility is accessible to their residences. The monthly bills associated with the public system might not sit well with those whose septic systems continue to dispose of waste safely, selectmen noted.
In response, Lagrange pointed out that selectmen have the authority to waive that requirement for those whose septic systems are in working order.
As proposed, the 8-inch sewer line would tie into an existing line at the Seal Cove Road intersection and run about 1,000 feet along the Freeman Ridge Road. Lagrange said test borings done Tuesday afternoon did find bedrock along that route.
“We’re not sure if the cost of removing ledge would add significantly to the cost of the project,” Lagrange said.
In a memo to selectmen, Lagrange wrote that the sewer line would directly benefit 14 properties. “Many of the existing septic systems are aging and replacement is inevitable,” he wrote.