Please join us in our Sewer Public Forum hosted on zoom on October 21st, 7 p.m. Click the registration box to the right to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Expanding Sewer to Littleton Common
The Town of Littleton, under the leadership of the Board of Water Commissioners, has been planning for an expanded sewer system to serve the Littleton Common area and portions of the intersecting Great Road and King Street, as well as Russell Street. Sewer for the greater Common area would provide economic development and environmental benefits to the town.
The plan is to expand the existing, aging sewer system, which serves only municipal buildings, and upgrade it to serve about 58 business and up to 53 residential properties (with residences having the ability to opt-out of connecting to the system).
The legislation creating the Littleton Common Sewer District gives residential properties along the route of the sewer the ability to opt-out of connecting to the system, depending on the age and condition of their septic systems.
550 King Street Added to Sewer District
While prior plans expected town buildings to be the sewer system’s largest user, that changed in August. A new owner of 550 King Street, the 40-acre parcel formerly occupied by IBM, has announced plans for a mixed-use development on the site. The development would benefit from access to sewer. The 550 King Street development would be the project’s largest user, and as such, shoulder the largest portion of the project cost.
At the request of the developer, the Lupoli Companies, the Board of Water Commissioners has voted to add 550 King Street to the sewer district, which will enable the development to connect to the new system.
The Special Town Meeting on October 25, 2021 will ask voters to approve two warrant articles to move the project forward. The first is a change in zoning necessary for the proposed uses in the development and then authorization to borrow funds to pay for construction, with sewer users repaying the loans by betterment charges and user fees.
This article would create a new “King Street Common” zoning district consisting of the entire 41-acre parcel at 550 King Street. The King Street Common zoning district would allow comprehensive redevelopment of the site with a mix of uses, including commercial, retail, office, and multifamily residential – including senior housing. The King Street Common district uses elements from the Littleton Common form based code – updated to meet the size and location of the 550 King Street site. The King Street Common district will help the Town meet housing and economic development goals outlined in the 2017 Littleton Master Plan, the 2015 Housing Production Plan, and the 2019 Littleton Common Revitalization Road Map.
Sewer Construction Funding
- The estimated cost of the construction is $28.5 million.
- The Town expects to apply for more than $8 million in grants from MassWorks and American Rescue Plan Act funds to reduce the cost.
- After receiving grants, the town would expect to borrow approximatley $20.5 million to be repaid by means of betterment assessments on connected properties and charges to sewer customers.
- The Town of Littleton, as a sewer user for municipal buildings, would share in the construction cost for an amount estimated at $3.9 million.
This article would authorize the Board of Water Commissioners to borrow an amount of monies not to exceed $28,500,000, to be paid through the Sewer Enterprise Fund. With the town’s approval of this borrowing authorization, the Board of Water Commissioners will be able to construct a 208,000 gallon per day sewer system.
Proposed Sewer Expansion
This map shows the proposed sewer expansion of the existing Littleton municipal building sewer system to include 58 commercial/business properties and 53 residential parcels on King Street, Great Road and Russell Street. Known as the Phase 1A Spine, the parcels in yellow would be served by the expanded sewer system. Residential properties would have the ability to opt out of connecting to the sewer system depending on the age and condition of their septic systems. Sewage would be transported westerly to a water resource recovery facility at 242 King Street, and treated effluent would be piped to the new recharge site under the playing field at the high school.
Benefits of Sewer
Lack of a sewer system in the Common is hindering economic development and contributing to groundwater pollution, which can impact our drinking water supply.
- The planned 550 King Street development shows the power of a sewer system to spur economic development. This is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. It is a “they are here and asking for it” scenario.
- As a town, we have a shared priority in protecting our water supply. The Common is in the Zone II aquifer protection area for the Beaver Brook wells. A sewer system would remove pollution from septic systems and improve the quality of our drinking water.
Alternative to Littleton Common Sewer
Without the Littleton Common sewer system, the town will have to continue to meet the wastewater needs of town buildings on the existing municipal-only sewer system. Littleton taxpayers will still face the expense of replacing the existing, smaller waste-water treatment facility that serves the municipal buildings. As the only customer, town government (via taxpayers) is responsible for all construction costs on the $6.5 million project.
Pursuant to provisions of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 83, Section 10, the Town of Littleton hereby establishes sewer use rules and regulations governing the use of wastewater collection system of the Town of Littleton.
Questions and answers from the October 14th, 2020 Public Forum regarding the Sewer Discharge Site is available.
Sewer Needs Assessment
LELWD has teamed with CDM Smith to conduct a Needs Assessment for the Town of Littleton as it relates to sewer. The Sewer Needs Assessment project is the next step to develop a plan for Littleton to preserve water and land resources, and to promote smart economic growth. The Needs Assessment covers our water quality and wastewater needs, collection and treatment system technologies, alternatives solutions for various areas of need, and the siting of wastewater treatment facility. Sections of the assessment will be posted below as they become available.
During the October 2019 Special Town Meeting, the residents of Littleton passed two significant articles relating the the development of the Sewer Project. Littleton residents were recently mailed a letter that informed them on the updates of the Sewer Project.
LWD hired an engineering firm to conduct a peer review of major sewer efforts completed prior to October 2019. Part of that review was a hydrogeologic evaluation of the Littleton High School to support the construction of a proposed groundwater discharge for LHS.
The Home Rule Petition authorized by May 6, 2019 Annual Town Meeting was amended to transfer the supervision and control of the sewer district from the Board of Selectmen to the Board of Water Commissioners.
Sewer Working Group
A Sewer Working Group has been created by LWD to review, evaluate and present sewer project information to the Board of Water Commissioners. Another goal of the group is to ensure full transparency throughout every stage of the project. The members are as followed:
- Bruce Trumbull, Board of Water Commissioners
- Dick Taylor, Board of Water Commissioners
- Paul Glavey, Select Board
- Chuck Decoste, Select Board
- George Sanders, Resident
- Anthony Ansaldi, Town Administrator
- Joe Laydon, Interim Town Administrator
- Chris Stoddard, Littleton Highway Director
- Nick Lawler, LELWD General Manager
- Dave Ketchen, LELWD Assistant General Manager
- Corey Godfrey, LELWD Water Quality Manager
- Paul Denaro, LELWD Production Supervisor
- Cheryl Herrick-Stella, Littleton Town Accountant
- Allen Mcrae, Finance Committee
- Betsy Bohling, Finance Committee