New ordinance allows for amnesty for illegal sewer hook-ups

By Sara Brown

 

The Revere City Council passed an ordinance amending the City’s sewer use regulations on Monday night, 11–0.

The new ordinance will allow a two year amnesty period for residents with illegal sewer hookups to notify the city about their sewer. They will be placed on a list, and the city will fix it for them free of charge.

However, if residents don’t comply with the ordinance they will be charged $50 a day.

“This is something the city has to do,” City Planner Frank Stringi said.

The amnesty portion of the new ordinance pleased many of the councilors. Before the new ordinance was passed, fines were $1000 a day. Once the city finds an illegal hookup like sump pumps, residents have 30 days to comply with the ordinance.

“My main objection was the cost fines,” Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso said. He added, “You don’t want some poor elderly couple to be overcome with fines. These new ones are something I could live with.”

Stringi agreed. “In that way, we are being a lot more lenient,” he said.

Ward 1 Councillor Richard Penta thought the fines might have been a little too lenient.

“We are giving them amnesty and are going to fix it for free. What more can you ask for?” Penta asked. He further stated, “The ones who don’t go for this, a $50 dollar fine isn’t enough.”

Other councillors raised different concerns about the ordinance. Ward 4 Councilor Stephen Reardon wanted to be assured that there will be enough funding for every resident that comes forward. He stated, “I’m concerned about funding. I’m concerned about the last guy in line. I don’t want to have to tell him ’oops, sorry, we ran out of money. You have to do it on your own now.”

“We will make sure we have sufficient funding,” Stringi replied.

Stringi said that the problems are usually “easy to fix” and that it can range from $200 to $1000 in cost, however, he said that usually they are not that costly.

“It’s great to see that the city is being mandated to fix its problem,” Councillor at Large Bob Haas said. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] required the city to update their regulations.

Residents will be notified about the new ordinance via the mail.