Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding sections 1 and 3 of chapter 83 of the General Laws to the contrary, the town of Orleans may lay out, construct, maintain and operate a system of common sewers and main drains in public or private ways for that part of its territory as it adjudges necessary for the public convenience or the public health with such connections and other works as may be required for a system of sewerage and drainage, and sewage treatment and disposal in accordance with the town’s Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, as approved by the department of environmental protection.
SECTION 2. At the commencement of operation of the town’s sewer system, the owner of land abutting a private or public way in which a common sewer has been laid shall be required by the board or officer having charge of the maintenance and repair of sewers to connect such land with a common sewer only if the land is included among those properties identified in the town's Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, hereinafter referred to as CWMP as requiring connection to the town's sewer system. The owners of land not included among those properties to be connected to the town's sewer system under the CWMP shall not be permitted to connect to the town's sewer system at the commencement of its operation. Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, the board or officer having charge of the maintenance and repair of sewers may permit extensions, new connections or increases in flow to the sewer system, subject to capacity, to serve municipal buildings, public restrooms or other public service uses as defined by the municipality; provided however, that such uses may include, but shall not be limited to, affordable housing constructed pursuant to chapters 40B and 40R of the General Laws. The CWMP may be amended from time to time by the board or officer having charge of sewers, after a public hearing conducted to consider the amendment and upon approval of the department of environmental protection. The board or officer having charge of sewers shall adopt regulations no later than 120 days after the effective date of this act, establishing publication and notification procedures to carry out the purposes of this section.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding chapters 80 and 83 of the General Laws to the contrary, the town of Orleans may make betterment or sewer assessments upon owners of land abutting a private or public way in which a common sewer has been laid only at the time of actual connection to the common sewer. Nothing in this act shall preclude the town from making estimated sewer assessments under section 15B of said chapter 83. The town may make equitable adjustments to the annual charges established under section 16 of said chapter 83 for the use of common sewers for the purpose of ensuring an equitable distribution of the total sewer system costs, including special assessments and sewer use charges.
SECTION 4. Every decision by the board or officer having charge of sewers permitting or denying a connection to the town’s sewer system shall be made in writing.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved December 16 , 2008