Wayland Residents Faced With $23,000 Sewer Bills

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

WAYLAND (CBS) – If you think your sewer bill is high, then wait until you hear what’s going on with some homeowners in Wayland. They are facing bills that will take decades to pay off. Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says these residents want all town residents to pitch in.

Mary Farley is a Wayland resident. “When you add up all the fees, we are looking at close to $55,000!”

Abhilash Barot is also a Wayland resident. “I owe $23,000!”

That’s right, about three dozen homeowners and just as many businesses are facing astronomical sewer bills. It all has to do with the new development on Route 20 in Wayland known as “Town Center.” Behind the beautiful stores and modern condominiums is a $5.5 million waste water treatment facility. Since it was built on what’s known as an “enterprise zone” just those people hooked up to it must pay for it all. And these people claim the developer and the town never explained that.

“You did not know this?” Shortsleeve asked. “And would you have bought the town home?”

“I did not,” Barot says. “I would have not.”

Here is part of the problem. Wayland homeowners all have individual septic systems. They have no need for a new expensive sewer system. So the whole cost of this facility falls to about 75 users. Jonathan Buchman is one of those business owners.

“Your position is that all Wayland town residents should bare the cost here?” Shortsleeve asked.

“Absolutely,” says Buchman. “Their building, their police station, their fire station is on the system. The main town hall with all the offices is on the system.

So, Buchman says town taxpayers should absorb some of the cost because town services are tied in and everyone can visit the new “Town Center.”

Wayland’s interim Town Administrator says town leaders are looking for a solution. Robert Mercier says, “It is a very small group of people who have a large bill to pay.”

“Hopefully we will take some action that will provide some relief. I don’t know in what form, but some relief to those rate payers.”

In the meantime, those huge bills are due July first.

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