BUZZARDS BAY — Bourne might have an easier time making room for a proposed development’s wastewater than officials first thought.
On Thursday night, Town Administrator Thomas Guerino met with representatives of the Hideaway Village condominiums to discuss reducing the property’s daily wastewater allotment from 60,000 gallons to 25,000 gallons per day, freeing up 35,000 gallons of daily flow for the town to grant to developers eyeing the village of Buzzards Bay.
The meeting came three weeks after Guerino received a letter from the state Department of Environmental Protection in which Brian Dudley, an environmental engineer, wrote that Bourne has the flexibility to allocate daily wastewater flows as it sees fit, as long as the town averages a daily output of no more than 200,000 gallons annually. The 200,000 cap is part of an agreement between Bourne and Wareham, which treats and disposes of wastewater from the village of Buzzards Bay.
Describing his meeting with Hideaway Village as “extremely positive and productive,” Guerino said the sewer commissioners can now reserve an allocation of about 20,000 gallons per day for a planned hotel and conference center along Cape Cod Canal without worry of exceeding the 200,000-gallon cap.
“If the Board of Sewer Commissioners moves forward with reserving capacity, there would be sufficient capacity to have that done,” Guerino said Friday. “It would not be a conflict if they chose to do that.”
In the meeting, the Hideaway Village representatives raised concerns with the lowered wastewater allocation hindering future construction on the property off Head of the Bay Road, Guerino said. But as Guerino wrote in a letter to the DEP, the average flow from Hideaway Village peaked at nearly 12,500 gallons per day between 2003 and last year, meaning the property was using less than a fourth of its 60,000-gallon-per-day allocation. Only twice in that decade did the flow exceed 20,000 gallons per day.
“That’s not going to be an issue. They’re going to be fine,” Guerino said about any plans to rebuild condominiums or develop vacant lots at Hideaway Village. “With what they’re using, there is plenty of room.”
Repeated attempts to contact Hideaway Village representatives were unsuccessful.
Sewer commissioners might vote as early as Tuesday to reserve a wastewater allotment for the Perry Ave. Corp. developers hoping to break ground in the spring on a hotel and conference center across from Town Hall.
For the first phase of construction, the developers had initially planned a seven-story complex with first-floor retail space, 144 residential units and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Cape Cod Canal. But to accommodate the town’s limited capacity to treat and dispose of wastewater, the developers offered to build the “brand name” hotel and conference center first because it would require a smaller allotment.
Chris Bailey, senior broker with Commercial Realty Advisors, who is consulting on the project, said the developer plans to request that allotment on Tuesday. Bailey estimates that the hotel and conference center would need a daily wastewater allotment in the “low 20,000s” of gallons, but the team engineer will have a more precise figure on Tuesday.
Bailey said he optimistic that the Sewer Commission will grant the allotment Tuesday — a decision commission Chairwoman Linda Zuern described as a possibility.
Peter Meier, chairman of the town Board of Selectmen who also serves on the Sewer Commission, gave the measure a “50-50” chance of being resolved Tuesday. Before granting the developers an allotment, Meier said, he wants to consult Town Counsel Bob Troy.
“We have to do something for Hideaway Village to make it right,” Meier said. “I don’t know what that is right now. Do we need to approve this Tuesday night? I mean, I don’t think so. A couple weeks won’t matter if that’s what it’s going to take to have Hideaway Village happy with it.”