Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
The town of Orleans is hereby authorized to adopt a by-law providing that said town may financially assist property owners through a program to comply with the town's requirements to repair and upgrade private septic disposal systems. Where an existing septic disposal system constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety, welfare or to the environment, said town shall be authorized to use public funds to assist property owners to fund improvements or upgrades of such system, subject to appropriation by a town meeting. Said by-law shall authorize the board of health to establish regulations and guidelines governing the operation of the program.
The applicant for funding shall be required to submit an application to the board of health by October fifteenth of each year. Said board of health shall establish guidelines of eligibility and evaluate all applications with reference to said guidelines. The applicant shall include the septic system plans and specifications, designed by a licensed civil or sanitary engineer or a registered sanitarian which shall meet the minimum requirements for the subsurface disposal of household wastewater as established by the state environmental code (310, CMR 15.00), or where stricter, regulations adopted by the board of health of the town of Orleans. On approval of an application, said board of health shall submit the plans to said board of selectmen who shall obtain construction estimates according to the scope of work outlined in the plans and specifications. Said board of selectmen shall hold a public hearing on the application after due notice to the petitioner and shall provide an estimate of all costs to be levied against said petitioner, including engineering, legal, construction, administration, interest and other related expenses. Upon receipt of the approval of the estimated costs by the property owner, said board of selectmen shall vote the sum necessary from available funds. Town meeting is hereby authorized to appropriate annually sums of money to be placed in a septage betterment account to be used for this purpose. Upon funding approval, the board of selectmen shall obtain bids in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty B of the General Laws. Within six months after the construction has been completed, the total costs shall be assigned to the petitioner, and the time for payment, not to exceed ten years, shall be specified. Said board of selectmen shall bill the property owner on the next real estate tax bill and may accept settlement in cash for the full amount within thirty days, or shall bill the property owner for the total cost to be divided over a period of years, not to exceed ten, with interest to be computed at the rate as set forth in chapter eighty of the General Laws, and said town shall have a lien to secure payment in the same manner as it acquires a lien for a betterment assessment under said chapter eighty.