SHIRLEY -- A Clark Road resident whose septic system failed decided to replace it after the option of hooking up to the town sewer system was ruled out.
For financing, she turned to the Septic Loan Program, which is administered by the Board of Health and available to any town resident.
At Monday night's meeting, health board Chairman Joseph Howlett, whose mother, Agnes Howlett, was the septic permit applicant in this instance, explained why there was a gap of several months between the loan and permit applications.
She wanted to fully explore other options first, he said, including town sewer or an alternative "engineered system," which was way too pricey.
As it turned out, town sewer was not an option. Although the sewer line runs nearby, boring tests indicated obstructions that prevent a connection, Howlett said.
Extensive ledge between the property and the center of the road, where the sewer line is located, would require blasting to install pipes, he said, and the location of gas lines made it impossible to run them along the roadside.
Having determined that the best bet was to replace the existing system, Agnes Howlett recently filed for a permit. The loan application was filed earlier this year.
At that time, requests for proposals went out to qualified installers approved by the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health. Five firms submitted bids. Those letters were opened Monday night.
Reading through the bids for the
Price tags ranged from $32,380 to $36,300.
Most of the letters contained "as built" proposals. Of those that were itemized, one came across as an estimate rather than a bid, Farrar said, with too many open-ended items that could lead to cost overruns. Members agreed that was not acceptable. They also wanted to pin down the cost of electrical and plumbing work, which some bids did not include.
The gist of it was that the lowest bid that provided all of the needed items would be considered first and if current prices checked out, that firm would be offered the job.
How many dogs are too many?
Hamel also informed the board of complaints that seven dogs at a trailer home on Townsend Road might lack proper shelter and water when they are outdoors. Indoors, that number is "just too many" for the size of the house, Hamel opined.
A kennel license would be required if the owners were breeding dogs for sale and kept more than five dogs on the premises. The question then becomes how to determine if a multi-dog household is breeding the animals versus keeping them for pets.
Member Jackie Esielionis asked if the animals on Townsend Road had adequate space outside and were provided with shade and water. Hamel said yes, and that they are all small dogs. In that case, the board won't interfere, she said, but she asked him to thank the neighbors for caring about the dogs' welfare.
Hamel also informed the board that he had visited a Holden Road property that recently acquired a horse and that the cleanliness and condition of the barn were in question. He spoke to the owner, who promised to shape things up by his next inspection, he said.