Provincetown voters approved seven Town Warrant Articles related to a lead pipe inventory, the acquisition of parcels for open and passive recreation space, and all five Articles related to the Town’s sewer expansion and modernization project. At the request of the Planning Board, Article 8 was indefinitely postponed.
Over 360 voters attended the November 9, 2022 Special Town Meeting in the Auditorium at Provincetown Town Hall and nearly every Article voted on was adopted unanimously.
“On behalf of the Select Board, I want to thank our community for showing up in such large numbers for Special Town Meeting,” said Select Board Chair David Abramson. “With the near-unanimous support of Town Meeting voters, Provincetown is set to embark on our largest-ever capital project to achieve our Town wide goal of making sewer available to every property by 2030 while also supporting our goal of developing more seasonal and year-round affordable and community housing.”
Of the $75 million authorization passed by Provincetown voters, it is anticipated that $25 million will come from grants and subsidies and about $5 million from other existing revenue sources. The remaining $45 million will come from future betterments paid by property owners who, for the first time, have sewer available to them, with no additional cost to the half of properties already connected to Town sewer.
The final phases of the sewer expansion project are an important complement to the ongoing modernization and replacement work for the downtown Central Vacuum Sewer System and other existing sewer infrastructure. The modernization is funded by payments over the next 10 years from the Cape Cod and Islands Water Protection Fund at no cost to sewer users or taxpayers.
“I am incredibly proud and grateful for all of the work our Town staff and members of our boards and committees have put into creating this plan for the future of sewer in Provincetown,” said Town Manager Alex B. Morse. “I also want to thank our residents who read the information we sent to homes and posted online, who attended public forums and asked questions, and who reached out with concerns. In the end, this robust community engagement process helped craft a better, fairer, and more responsive plan for our entire community.”
Onsite systems are not the future of wastewater management in Provincetown, and climate change-related sea level and groundwater rise with more severe storms will significantly impact onsite systems that are not resilient to high groundwater and flooding. Making sewer available town-wide will greatly reduce the risk of environmental pollution to our harbor from storm and flood risks to vulnerable onsite systems, protect public health, and provide coastal resiliency for decades to come.
With sewer expansion and modernization passed by voters, Provincetown could be the first town on Cape Cod to be 100% served by its municipal wastewater system while ensuring its residents, property and business owners, and visitors that it has an approved, long-term strategy to manage its wastewater needs.
More information about the November 9, 2022 Special Town Meeting can be found at https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/1429/2022-November-Special-Town-Meeting