Friday, December 7, 2007
BOH recommends Community Septic Management Program
Michael Holland of the Board of Health (BOH) proposed that Carlisle consider joining the state's Community Septic Management Program (CSMP). This program provides up to $100,000 in no-interest loans to towns interested in offering financial assistance to homeowners who are replacing septic systems. The goal is to encourage the upgrading of septic systems that may be dangerous to wetlands or other sensitive areas.
The funds received by the town are then lent to homeowners at 5% interest. Repayment begins in the second year, after one year's collection has accrued. Payments to the state are spread over 20 years, but the payment term to the homeowner can be shorter. Eligibility for the program can be set by the town with priority given where there is greatest environmental danger.
A $20,000 grant for setting up administration is issued to the town upon entering the program, and up to 2.5% of the loan amount can be dedicated to employing administrative consulting services. The town would hold a lien on the borrower's land, and a homeowner in default would be charged a 14% accrued interest rate rising to 16% if a taking is required.
BOH member Bill Risso wondered about the town's exposure to default. The lag time between collection and repayment to the state would provide some protection.
The CSMP program has been in place for some time, and only five eligible communities (including Carlisle) have not joined, according to Holland. Carlisle had previously considered the program, and no one remembered why the decision was made to stay out. It was suggested the BOH survey some of the towns that have taken part to make sure there are no hidden pitfalls. The committee will return with a recommendation at a later meeting.
© 2007 The