The town of Yarmouth will charge an annual sewer fee for the first time since the 1950s.

Most sewer district users will be charged $350 annually, said Town Manager Nat Tupper, with escalating rates for more intense or industrial users. Low-volume users will be charged $100.

Town councilors adopted the new fees Feb. 20.

The fees are expected to raise about $1 million per year, Tupper said. There are about 3,500 properties in the town, and fewer than 1,000 are not connected to the municipal sewer system, he said.

Residents over the age of 70 will receive a 20 percent discount, and those who qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will receive a 50 percent discount. Usage amounts will be determined by measuring water usage over a three-month period.

The Town Council has yet to work out how the new revenue will be divided, but Tupper said councilors intended to apply 70 percent to the town budget. The remaining 30 percent is likely to be saved for maintenance and upkeep of the sewer system, he said.

In line with the switch, the town also added a cost for residents with septic systems. For years, Tupper said, the town pumped out and disposed of septic system waste at no cost. The town is ending that service, requiring residents to pay a private contractor to pump out and haul the sewage. There will continue to be no cost for disposal of the pumped sewage.

Councilors have yet to decide when the town will levy its first sewer fee, but Tupper estimated that residents could expect a bill in the fall.

He said the fees will help form the upcoming annual budget plan, which is early in development. While there are still outstanding questions about revenue, including the valuation of Wyman Station and the level of state revenue sharing and aid to education, Tupper said he does not expect a property tax increase in the next year.

“It looks to me that Yarmouth’s tax rate will either go down slightly or stay the same,” he said.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303, or at:

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