By Brian Mannal, 2nd Barnstable District State Representative
Earlier this year, I filed a bill on behalf of the Town of Barnstable (i.e., H.3372, An Act Relative to Betterments and Assessments for Sewer Projects in the Town of Barnstable) for the purpose of helping to reduce the monthly expense that Barnstable property owners are required to pay if and/or when the Town's assessors hand them a "sewer betterment" bill. On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, H.3372 was signed by Governor Deval Patrick, and I am pleased to report that the law is now known as Chapter 76 of the Acts of 2013.
Fundamentally, the law will provide property owners in Barnstable with up to ten additional years to pay off betterment assessments that are made by the Town for making and/or repairing sewers within the town. As most Barnstable residents know by now, our community is facing an enormous water quality problem, and the solutions to the problem are not cheap. By extending the period of time that a property owner can pay off the assessment for a sewer betterment from twenty years to thirty years, the monthly payments associated with these solutions will be reduced. The new Barnstable sewer law is expected save property owners between $10 and $30 each month, which is not a lot of money, but is still good news for property owners who live on fixed incomes.
Of the nearly thirty bills that I filed this year, H.3372 is the first to become law. Personally, I am thrilled that my first bill to become a law is one that both helps the environment and helps property owners keep more money in their checkbooks. In the upcoming weeks and months, I will be working on Beacon Hill to pass several other bills that I have filed on behalf of the Town of Barnstable, including a bill that would allow the Town to lease the Armory on South Street for use as a for-profit museum, and another bill that would allow the Barnstable Chief of Police to appoint recently retired Barnstable police officers for traffic details and other special assignments.
If you have any questions or concerns about the newly enacted Barnstable sewer law, please feel free to contact my State House office at 617-722-2582.
Brian R. Mannal
2nd Barnstable District