Another perceived risk is that the sewer plant would not generate enough revenue to pay for the plant or operation. This has happened in neighboring towns, and we have learned from their experience. Risk is minimized for Littleton by conducting a thorough Preliminary Design Report, and, should the plant go to construction, by constructing the plant in phases and only constructing capacity as contracted demand occurs (Strategy p. 42).
In its first phase, 30,000 gallons per day of new treatment capacity would be constructed at a cost of $4.3 million (pipes and treatment). If it proves to produce income, as the study suggests, an additional $3.2 million would be spent to add energy generation facilities. Combined, energy generation and user fees would be used to meet the $7.5 million obligation. In the alternative, user fees would meet the $4.3 million obligation (Strategy pp.64-68). If no further demand due to growth occurs, no further capital investment would be made.
If the plant is not built, development in the Town Common and industrial districts is limited. Due to the lack of wastewater capacity, existing property owners have few options. Property owners also face expensive repairs or replacements to their existing septic systems over time.
Lacking wastewater options, it is less likely the Town will realize new property tax revenues from the Common district due to growth.
Nitrate levels in groundwater in the Common are elevated and becoming a concern. A sewer system would eliminate the problem. By returning treated effluent to the ground in the watershed where the water was originally taken (Beaver Brook) the sewer system would restore some flow in the Brook, and its water quality would improve (Strategy p. 17).
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