Board Considers Sewer Extension for Lake Shore Road Homes

July 17, 2015


by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

Two homes on Lake Shore Road have been excluded from municipal sewer service despite all surrounding properties having access.

A current construction project on Goodridge Avenue, along with plans for South Shore Road in conjunction with properties already serviced by municipal sewer, would surround the two homes, 14 and 18 Lake Shore Road, but without a pipe running down the street, there would be no way to connect.

“They would not have access to sewer from any of the adjacent projects,” said Town Engineer Bob Puff.  “Effectively those two particles will be surrounded by municipal sewer on all sides and have no access to connect to it.”

Expanding the service by the two homes would come at a price tag of $64,000 with $24,000 coming out of the tax base and $40,000 allocated from the sewer fund.

Homeowners would have to connect to the line since it is a municipally funded project and also cover the connection costs and discontinue use of their septic systems.

Alicia Ritter of 14 Lake Shore Road initially opposed the project, saying she didn’t have time to research fully research costs.

“If you’re going to come down with sewer and not come down with water is an expense that is really not going to make sense for us,” she said, adding she had little information on the project.

Puff said municipal water had been discussed for the area previously and was not planned for the area due to pressure concerns.

“It’s kind of now or never essentially,” Chairman James Keller said.  The other homeowner did not attend the meeting.

Selectman Pat Hargreaves made a motion to deny the staff request to extend the service by the two homes, but withdrew after the property owner sought more time to make a decision.

The board voted to table the discussion until July 27, allowing homeowners to research the cost extent further.

But that wasn’t the only request to extend service in the area.  Puff said he received a request from the bordering community to connect to sewer service.

“A resident from the Town of Windham contacted me with regards to being able to connect to the Town of Salem’s sewer on South Shore Road,” he said.

Puff added the residence was part of the same Greater Lawrence sewer district as Salem.

Hickey said an inter-municipal agreement would need to be reached with Windham for the connection to be made, adding the resident would be responsible with contracting the pipe extension from the Salem border to the home and cover all associated costs.

“We wanted to come to the board and find out if the board had any desire at all to allow some of all of these residents to connect,” he said adding there were eight homes on the road total.

Vincent Piemonte of Windham said his property was just over the border and was seeking to connect to the pipeline.

“For us it’s 60 feet.  We’re right over the line,” he said.  “We are willing to absorb any of the costs associated with getting our waste to the manhole.”

Selectman Michael Lyons said the project wasn’t worth the trouble for Salem and didn’t see a benefit since there isn’t sewer all around the lake.

Selectman Stephen Campbell agreed saying he was concerned and that the increase would count against Salem’s allocation in the sewage district.

“I don’t want to be a regional sewer system,” Campbell said.  “I just don’t.”  Hickey said the property owners would have to pay the $7,500 betterment fee and could either have their well metered or charged a flat fee for the service.

The board voted to advise town staff to look into the project and bring back information regarding the expenses the town could incur from the project.  They also asked the residents to see if any of the other eight homes on the road would be interested in connecting also.

Puff said the project would be almost inconsequential to the town since the Windham homeowners would pay for the project.

The motion passed with Campbell in opposition.