The Bourne Wastewater Advisory Committee announced this week that they did not receive a $75,000 state grant for which they had recently applied.
Committee chairman Sallie K. Riggs told sewer commissioners Tuesday night that her group was among 19 applicants for grants from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. The agency only had $1 million dollars to disperse, Ms. Riggs said. She said that ten of the applications were accepted but Bourne was not among them.
“Ours was just not as strong as the others,” she said.
The grant would have paid to complete hydro-geologic testing at Queen Sewell Park. It has been determined that Queen Sewell Park is the best site in town for underground dispersal of wastewater. In January, the committee announced that they had eliminated the athletic fields behind the Bourne Veterans Memorial Community Center. An engineering report from Weston & Sampson cited contamination concerns with water flowing from beneath the fields also moving through the parcel of land where the Hood Auto gas station was located.
Ms. Riggs told the commissioners that the state Department of Environmental Protection has reviewed the results of Weston & Sampson’s study. The agency did not see anything to prevent the town from moving forward with their plans for wastewater disposal at Queen Sewell, she said.
“However, to get a full certification or authorization for the site, we need to do some more detailed work,” she said.
The Coastal Zone Management grant would have gone toward completing that work for the DEP, she said.
Sewer commission chairman Peter J. Meier asked Ms. Riggs if the town should turn to the Cape Cod Commission for funding to complete the study. Ms. Riggs said she had found out about not getting the grant just prior to arriving for the meeting, so she did not have an answer yet. She added that she is aware that some economic development money is available through the commission, along with some other funding opportunities, so that may be an alternative.
Town administrator Thomas M. Guerino asked if there are funds available through the Cape Cod Economic Development Council. Ms. Riggs said that the council’s funding program for this year had four very specific topic areas, “and nothing that is going on in the Town of Bourne fit.”
She said that her committee will continue to look for other grant opportunities.
“We can just continue, as one does when one’s looking for grant funding, you just hope everywhere you can and continue to ask questions and see what turns out,” she said.