Wareham Selectmen wait to recommend action on Mill Pond Diner sewer hookup

Mar 5, 2019

On Tuesday, Wareham Selectmen said they wanted more information on a citizens’ petition to connect the Mill Pond Diner to town sewer before they could recommend any action, favorable or otherwise, at Spring Town Meeting.

The petition, put forward by the owners of the Cranberry Highway restaurant, will ask voters to approve a land easement at the Tremont Nail Factory for municipal sewer hookup.

The Mill Pond Diner has been on a tight tank system for septic and grease since the previous owners chose to cut off their own town sewer access.

This fact drew concern from Selectman Patrick Tropeano, who said tight tanks typically aren’t allowed for commercial properties.

“As I understand it, they’re only supposed to be for residential properties,” Tropeano said. “And even then, the properties should be seasonal.”

According to Town Administrator Derek Sullivan, the closest point for the diner to reconnect to the town sewer would be by the Tremont Nail Factory, which is owned by the town. Because of this, Wareham voters would have to approve the use of the land before the hookup could be done.

A citizen's petition does not need approval from any town officials to go to Town Meeting. It only requires a certain number signatures and that the first person to sign act as an advocate to talk to voters.

“The problem is how do we actually go ahead and do this if it passes,” said Selectman Alan Slavin.

Sullivan said the town would enter negotiations to carry out the project if it’s approved, but did not have any details on what the process would look like.

“Looking at it logically, a septic tank there doesn’t make any sense to me,” said Tropeano. “Especially if another business comes to that location in the future.”

Still, Slavin and the other Selectmen were hesitant to recommend any action for the agenda item.

The board ultimately agreed to revisit the petition next week when Town Counsel Richard Bowen was present.