HUDSON – The Hudson Select Board voted Oct. 30 to approve and adopt the stormwater rules and regulations for the town.
Vice Chair Michael Burks asked if there was anything new in the rules and regulations.
The Department of Public Works Director Eric Ryder said there was not. He said the regulations were “pretty standard,” and the action would be to just adopt the stormwater bylaw, as approved at the last Annual Town Meeting and by the state.
He added that now the Select Board has the authority to set the rate.
Questions about stormwater regulations
Ryder answered several questions about the regulations from Select Board member Judy Congdon during the meeting.
Congdon asked about the language that stated that Ryder or anyone he designates could enter the premises of any stormwater connection or illicit discharge to verify compliance with the stormwater utility bylaw.
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She asked for an explanation of the language and whether it applied to personal or public property. Ryder said it gives the department permission to go onto a property if there is a retention pond or anything under the municipal separate storm sewer system guidelines for inspection.
“Obviously, when that happens, we notify the property owner. It would be done either through a letter or knocking on the door,” said Ryder.
Ryder said they would never go on someone’s property with the exception of an emergency situation.
Congdon also asked about the wording that the town would not be responsible for damage caused by shutting off stormwater systems for the purpose of repairs on pipes, catch basins, inlets and culverts. She inquired about if damage was caused on personal property, whether the town was liable for it.
Ryder explained that it means that some private systems overflow into the town system. If the town system failed for any reason, and the DPW had to get in to do work, the town would not be liable as the systems are tied together.
He added, “If we have to repair that, and we have to bypass for whatever reason, that statement’s in there.”
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He confirmed it would fall on the resident to address the issue, but noted there would be notice of any work to the property owner. He said the town would work with an owner to “come up with a plan” on whether to bypass another basin or pump around the area.
Congdon questioned why multifamily homes and commercial properties, but not single-family homes, are eligible for stormwater credits. She wanted clarification about whether multifamily homes are eligible for credit.
Ryder said if someone has a four- or five-unit home, under the stormwater regulations there is a requirement to put in stormwater management within the driveways on the property. There is no requirement for a single-family home to do this, he explained.
“The cost to bring your single-family home up to compliance would far exceed the cost of the credit,” he said.
Ryder noted the water and sewer bills are quarterly and are delivered together. It would not be a separate bill for the stormwater costs.
Congdon inquired about the stormwater rates and if they were revised annually. Ryder said the rates are in fact “fixed for three years.” The rates will be based on the repair needs for the culverts in town, according to Ryder.
He added, “And then we will work with [Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory] based upon the current needs.”
Then, the rates would be proposed and presented to the Select Board, similar to the process for the water and sewer rates. He said the work load for the DPW is a factor as well.
In other news, the board issued a transient vendors license to the Hudson Farmer’s Market for a winter market that will be held on Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the front of Hudson Town Hall.
They also noted the resignation of Michael Peckham as constable for the town of Hudson.