Barnstable County Septic Loan Program launched in December

Barnstable County Commissioners Mark Forest, Ronald Bergstrom and Sheila Lyons.

HYANNIS — A septic tank management loan program for Barnstable County homeowners is on track to begin by the end of the year, county officials said

Brian Baumgaertel of the county’s Department of Health and Environment told commissioners at their last meeting that the project was on track for mid-December, although some technical and staffing hurdles remain. .

Commissioner Mark Forest applauded the team and said timing the program’s launch before spring town hall meetings would allow municipalities to better plan their sewage expansions, as well as allow property owners to feel more confident to going from the septic tank to the sewer.

“Yarmouth will vote, most likely, on Phase 1 of $160-200 million and the question will be as we make that commitment, where is the financial assistance for those who may struggle to pay the connection fee,” Forest said.

“Knowing that this program exists will, I think, improve the ability of cities to accept and move forward knowing that tools are in place to make it easier for landlords to opt in.”

The program still has several challenges ahead, including building new software from scratch to handle payments.

“This program is designed for us. It’s fit for purpose and will work perfectly for what we envision doing,” county health and environment manager Sean O’Brien said.

Board of Commissioners chairwoman Sheila Lyons said the county would be better off waiting until all the tools are developed before launching, and that she supported not rushing the program.

“If it takes a little longer and we don’t make big mistakes at the start, it’s worth it.”

Ryan H. Bowman