October 26th 2022
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Good Morning PPRTA:
As always, I hope this newsletter finds you well. 
Town Meeting, Wednesday, November 9th, is just around the corner and that means voting on --- Sewer Expansion.  Yay!  But I am not alone in my constant badgering you on this topic.  Alex Morse, our Town Manager, has forwarded a message to you PPRTA members on this very matter. Here it is.


If you are registered to vote in Provincetown, great. If not, please, please encourage your neighbors/friends to go vote and to Vote Yes on Articles 3,4,5,6 and 7 to complete sewer expansion.  Here is some history and some facts to consider to share and to use to encourage an informed vote.
History to consider:  
In 1947 (75 years ago), the Town created a sewer system design. Why? Because household waste was ‘dumped’ as raw sewage into the ground-- also known as cesspools. The Town never voted to implement that design -- they kicked the can down the road.  In 1995, State Law mandated that homes sold or expanded required replacing cesspools with a septic systems — unless you obtained an Administrative Consent Order.  As water levels rose, septics and cesspools became vulnerable and an enormous threat to our #1 resource and source of income, the natural beauty and waters of Provincetown.  In 2000, the Town adopted a “checkerboard” sewer system only serving a few, leaving out the rest -- another can kick. 

We are now faced with the question — carry on with some ‘patchwork nonsense’; or do it right and do it now?

Facts to consider:
FACT:  Our greatest resource and source of income is Provincetown’s natural beauty. Septics and cesspools vulnerable to flooding pose a direct threat to that income source.
FACT:  This is not a year-rounder problem or a part-timer problem or a business owner problem.  This is an EVERYONE problem.
FACT: If you are currently connected to the sewer, expansion will not cost you any more money.
FACT: Homeowners with a compliant septic system do not have to connect (and spend more money) until/if the system fails pursuant to the proposed articles.
FACT: Homeowners with septics consider, if you have an issue while on the sewer system, DPW professionals are ready to help, immediately. If your private septic fails, say mid-high season - uh oh.
FACT: Most homeowners with cesspools have ACOs mandating yearly payments to the Town.  They have dutifully made these payments (thousands of dollars) with nothing to show for it as they wait to be connected to the sewer. It is time.
FACT: For those worried about cost, the price will only get more expensive. (Remember the Police Station saga).
FACT: Government funding is available NOW to defer costs. Who knows if that money is available in the future.
FACT: The current system has two methods of sewer transport - vacuum and gravity. For those worried about the vacuum and the issue this summer, the expansion will be only the gravity method.  
FACT:  To be fair to hard working 'vacuum', it was and remains the only viable method for that low sea level part of Commercial Street.  In 20 years, the vacuum has accommodated millions and millions of flushes with just three problems - a pretty good batting average. Baseball players are inducted into the Hall of Fame for far less.
Please vote YES and/or encourage others to vote YES on articles 3,4,5,6 and 7 and finally complete what we started 75 years ago -- full sewer expansion. No more can kicking. 



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About the PPRTA:
The Provincetown Part-Time Resident Taxpayers Association works for the betterment of the whole community of the Town of Provincetown by providing a forum and a voice for the interests of Provincetown part-time resident taxpayers, most of whom must make their voting residence elsewhere.

  • Maintain and support the unique quality of life that exists in Provincetown.
  • Advocate for representation on budget-related issues for part-time residents of Provincetown. 
  • Provide a forum for part-time resident taxpayers to communicate with local, regional and state governments.
  • Encouraging the participation of part-time residents in all aspects of the community.

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Provincetown Part-Time Resident Taxpayers Association · P.O. Box 1686 · Provincetown, MA 02657 · USA

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