Decentralized Wastewater Project

Community Wastewater Loan Program

Public Information Meeting
March 3, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Waitsfield Elementary School

For more than three years, the Waitsfield Planning Commission Wastewater Committee has been evaluating both the needs and the options for decentralized wastewater systems in our community, with the goal of addressing emerging environmental issues, land-use restrictions, and aging septic systems within Waitsfield Village and Irasville. This process started more than 18 months after voters turned down a centralized wastewater proposal in the spring of 2008, but a few of the realities from that project have carried over into the current conversation.

Specifically, the Town remains burdened with significant debt from the work done on the failed centralized wastewater project ($672,000) which must be repaid starting in 2013; there are still pockets of critical wastewater needs throughout the area; and a vast majority of surveyed residents and landowners (90%+) are dissatisfied with current wastewater options.

To directly address these issues, the wastewater committee has worked with local, state and federal officials to craft a creative financing program, the first phase of which will be on the Town Meeting Day ballot.

To be known as the Waitsfield Community Wastewater Loan Program, this voluntary program for local property owners would provide 20-year fixed-rate low-interest loans for shared wastewater projects that meet specific Town criteria. The program would use the resulting loan payments to leverage the existing State and Federal grant of $906,000 the town received for the failed centralized project monies to pay down the debt from that project.

The Waitsfield Community Wastewater Loan Program would be purely voluntary and would simply provide an alternative funding option for those with specific wastewater needs in the town center.   At the same time, loan repayments coupled with available State and Federal funding would provide funds to pay off existing wastewater debt without burdening local taxpayers.   This planning process is being supported in part through a Municipal Planning Grant awarded by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Department of Housing and Community Development. The plan and the Town Meeting Day ballot article will be discussed during a public meeting on March 3, at 7:00pm in the Waitsfield Elementary School.

Town Meeting
March 4, 2014

The legal voters of the Town of Waitsfield, Vermont, are hereby notified and warned to meet at the Waitsfield Elementary School in the Town of Waitsfield on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 between the hours of seven o'clock in the forenoon (7:00 a.m.), at which time the polls will open, and seven o'clock in the afternoon (7:00 p.m.), at which time the polls will close, to vote by Australian ballot upon the following Article of business:


Will the Town of Waitsfield borrow from the Vermont State Revolving Fund an amount up to Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) for the purpose of funding loans for the construction, repair, replacement or expansion of publicly and privately owned on-site wastewater systems, with said loans to be repaid by the individuals or associations receiving funds therefor pursuant to agreements approved by the Town and Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Said loans would be secured in full faith and credit of the Town by the bonding authority.

The legal voters of the Town of Waitsfield are further notified that voter qualification, registration and absentee voting relative to said special meeting shall be as provided in Chapters 43, 51 and 55 of Title 17, Vermont Statutes Annotated.

The legal voters of the Town of Waitsfield are further notified that an informational meeting will be held on Monday, March 3, 2014 at seven o'clock in the afternoon (7:00 p.m.) at the Waitsfield Elementary School, in the Town of Waitsfield, for the purpose of explaining the proposed improvements and the financing thereof.

Adopted and approved at a regular meeting of the Selectboard of the Town of Waitsfield duly called, noticed, and held on January 30, 2014. Received for record and recorded in the records of the Town of Waitsfield on the 31st day of January, 2014.

Waitsfield Selectboard:
Paul Hartshorn, Chair
William Parker, V. Chair
Logan Cooke
Scott Kingsbury
Christopher Pierson

Funding Sources
Waitsfield Community Wastewater Loan Program



Town Documents

Letter to Property Owners, February 2014
Model Association-Town Agreement, February 2011
Draft Facilities Plan, December 2012
Program Outline, February 2012
Waitsfield Town Plan, adopted 2012

Other Information Resources

Wastewater Solutions for Vermont Communities, 2008
EPA Management of Onsite Wastewater Systems
Valuing Decentralized Wastewater Systems, 2004


Assessment of Decentralized Wastewater Options: A Survey of Needs, Capacity and Solutions for Historic Waitsfield Village and Irasville, Vermont, January 25, 2011 - Full document

Also available in the following sections:

Cover & Contents
Executive Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Study Area Description
  3. Historic and Current Wastewater Treatment
  4. Needs Assessment
  5. Discussion of Wastewater Management Options
  6. Recommendations
  7. References

Figure 1. Location Map
Figure 2. Property Owner Survey Responses
Figure 3. Environmental Sensitivities
Figure 4. Current Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
Figure 5. Water Connection Status
Figure 6. Future Wastewater Treatment Options
Figure 7. Wastewater Capacity Needs


Table 1. Summary of Survey I Responses
Table 2. Summary of Survey II Responses
Table 3. Study Area Description
Table 4. Summary of Soil Characteristics Related to Onsite Wastewater Treatment
Table 5. Summary of Permit Information
Table 6. Summary of Needs Assessment Results, Waitsfield Village
Table 8. Summary of Needs Assessment Results


Appendix A. Waitsfield Planning Commission Wastewater Committee Members
Appendix B. Valley Reporter Articles and Letters
Appendix C. Onsite Wastewater Systems - Technologies, Components, Maintenance
Appendix D. VT Regulations for Soil-Based Wastewater Treatment Systems
Appendix E. Further Reading, Responsible Management Entities


Program Manager


Landslide Natural Resource Planning
P.O. Box 311
East Middlebury, VT 05740

Phone: (802) 388-9278
E-mail: [email protected]

Town Administrator


Waitsfield Town Office
4144 Main Street
Waitsfield, VT 05673

Phone: (802) 496-2218
E-mail: [email protected]