Outrage over the sewer controversy is building and Selectmen and Director of Public Works Joseph Lynch responded to that anger at the Dec. 30 board meeting.
Selectmen want the exact number of homes with illegal connections to the town sewer lines and all homes that are not billed for service. Some apparently have had free service since the 1970s, according to Lynch.
While a formal “Recommended Amnesty Program” is being considered, some residents oppose the payment schedule in the plan.
At CitizenSpeak, Philip Johenning said he believes the board’s proposed light penalties reward the dishonest by the “town’s willingness to give a slap on the hand [to offenders].”
Johenning said the sewer services were “essentially stolen. My research is this is a felony.”
Lynch also described the feedback his office has received: “They want us to go back to the full extent.”
Once the meeting was underway, board members agreed without voting to raise the payback period from three to six years, appoint Assistant Town Administrator Michael Blanchard as head of the review and appeals process, and directed Lynch to determine all violators as soon as possible. They may finalize their decisions on Jan. 21.
“Start with six years,” said Selectman Katie Conlon, referring to the offenders’ debts that could average $1,000 a year plus interest.