Many Weymouth Town Councilors share the frustration of the ongoing wait for a long-term water and sewer solution at Southfield.
Jeffrey Wall, one of the two Weymouth representatives on the Tri-Town Board of Directors, said that they had sewer plans back in 2008, but other concerning areas drew away their focus.
“It’s not that we stopped, however we couldn’t make it a focus and be productive at it with all the other issues that were going on in that time frame,” Wall said, “[It's] not an excuse, however, that’s what happened in that time frame.”
Wall added that they did receive a letter through the Mayor’s office from Town Council requesting that Mayor Susan Kay start the process of negotiating with Tri-Town to sell more water to them. “We’re in that process,” Wall said.
Matthew Barry, Starwood Vice President, talked about why the lack of water and sewer services has held up development.
“When you’re developing a master plan community, the initial buyers, the first few hundred homes, are buying based on your promise to build the amenities and to build the whole view,” Barry said, “As people have come to realize that the full build-out is in jeopardy because of a lack of water, wastewater, parkway…we’re having a very difficult time selling the land to residential builders.”
Tri-Town is currently responsible for providing water and sewer services to Southfield. They stated that they agree with Starwood’s proposed sewer solution to personally finance a plant at no cost to the current Southfield residents, but they are still looking into water solutions.
Wall and Board of Director’s Chair Joseph Connolly attended the Weymouth Town Council meeting Monday night, accompanied by their CEO Kevin Donovan and CFO Jim Wilson. Wilson went through a presentation, within which he included some current water solution ideas.
Wilson said within the three years since he has been the CFO, Tri-Town has expended about $100,000 to look into water and sewer solutions.
Tri-Town currently has an agreement with the town of Weymouth, within which the town will provide water to the “Phase 1″ build-out in the current legislation. Wilson said they are also considering using the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority as an option.
Councilor Thomas Lacey expressed concern with this ongoing issue. “The priority for everyone in this room should be water and sewer,” he said.
Lacey added that it is “borderline irresponsible” not to have a plan in place at this point for water and sewer.
Councilor Arthur Matthews added that he wants to see the water options “vetted out.”