Westport Health Notes: Low interest septic upgrade loans now available

By Phil Weinberg
Posted 2/9/22

Welcome to Westport Health Notes, a monthly column from the Westport Board of Health (BOH).  The goal is to share information with our community about local issues and projects, public health …

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Westport Health Notes: Low interest septic upgrade loans now available

Posted

Welcome to Westport Health Notes, a monthly column from the Westport Board of Health (BOH).  The goal is to share information with our community about local issues and projects, public health alerts, and even fun facts about the A to Z scope of responsibility that local Boards of Health manage.

The Westport Board of Health is pleased to announce the availability of one percent (1%) interest loans to low or moderate income homeowners who need to upgrade their failed septic system and chose to replace it with an approved nitrogen-reducing Title 5 system. Completed loan applications will be accepted starting on February 14th.  A Title 5 inspection report documenting a failed system and income/asset verification information is required.  The homeowner pays back the loan over a 5,10,15 or 20 year period in the form of a betterment placed as an additional line item on their real estate tax bill. A credit check is not required, but all municipal accounts (real estate taxes, water bill, etc.) must be paid and up to date to be eligible for a loan.

Funding for this program (“Fund 20”) was approved at last spring’s Town Meeting. The funding source is the betterment payments made to the town under a previous septic repair loan initiative. The accrued funds can only be used for septic upgrades for low and moderate income homeowners. The Board voted for and the Treasurer approved a 1% interest rate to encourage homeowners to replace their failed system with one that will reduce nitrogen contamination of their drinking water and the Westport River. 

The loan can cover all aspects of the process (engineering, soil testing, permit and administrative fees, and construction). Homeowners obtain the estimated costs and choose from among the contractors who bid on the project.

There is a limited amount of funding available at this very low interest rate. To start the application process or answer any questions, please contact the Program Administrator, Nelia Williams; williamsn@westport-ma.gov OR call 508-858-1008. Further details and application forms are available on the Board of Health webpage: https://www.westport-ma.com/board-health.

If you have questions you’d like answered or suggestions for future topics, please email the BOH at health@westport-ma.gov.

Weinberg is vice chairman of the Westport Board of Health.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.