Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Orleans Waste Water Management by Sarah Macke

Draft press release September 8, 2008


Orleans Citizens Forum Public Information Event
Tuesday Oct. 27 at the Orleans Elementary School, at 6 p.m.

Contact: Abby Summersgill

508 240-6778,
Ed Maas, President of OCF, is available for interviews at
or 508 255-2222

What Wastewater Management
Means to Orleans Residents

ORLEANS: The Orleans Citizens Forum will present a comprehensive, independent review of the key wastewater management issues facing Orleans voters and taxpayers at a public symposium Tuesday, October 7, at the Orleans Elementary School at 6 p.m.
Experts from local and state government, the local real estate industry, and citizen committee members planning wastewater systems will report on all the issues surrounding the Special Town Meeting vote Oct. 27 on wastewater management conceptual plans. Open to everyone, the meeting will allow plenty of time for audience questions.
Orleans citizens have had several opportunities this year to learn about the towns wastewater management needs, including seven public information sessions and a formal public hearing Oct. 2. The Orleans Citizens Forum (OCF) event Oct. 7 brings together all the information voters need to know presented by an independent, non-partisan, volunteer organization that focuses on public participation in the issues important to town affairs.

Major issues explained

Managing Orleans? wastewater is likely to produce significant financial, public health, infrastructure and cultural demands on the town. The October 27 Special Town Meeting will ask voters whether they will ratify the broad concept of a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan that could cost more than $150 million over 20 years. Although voters will not be voting Oct. 27 on actual financial appropriations, wastewater management is expected to eventually become the largest public project in Orleans history.
Panelists at the Oct. 7 forum presenting their perspectives and answering audience questions include:
· Brian Dudley, Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection
· Andrew Gottlieb, Executive Director, Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative
· Augusta McKusick, Chair, Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative and Chair, Orleans Wastewater Management Steering Committee
· Paul Ammann, Orleans? Wastewater Management Validation and Design Committee
· Walter Bennett. Chair, Orleans Finance Committee
· George Meservey, Orleans Planning Director
· Jeffrey Karlson, Owner, The Real Estate Company
Richard Hartman, OCF member, has volunteered to be the moderator.
Panelists are likely to discuss issues such as these:
? Why the presented plan was chosen.
? Alternative methods of removing excess nitrogen from the environment.
? The impact the plan will have on the environment and conformance with state and federal law.
? The likely costs to the town of nitrogen removal pursuant to the plan.
? How costs will be shared by sewer system users and non-users.
? How much homeowners might be charged for wastewater management.
? How sewering will impact public health, zoning, and population growth.
? How sewering will impact property values.
? How sewer construction might be phased-in over 20 years.
Please come by and get informed!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Top 5 Things Home Buyes Look For By Carolyn Otis

A report released last week by Better Homes and Gardens.
Home buyers are looking for large kitchens that are fun, but practical. Gardens magazine found that buyers who bought a new home in the last 10 years or plan to build one, say they’re through with cookie-cutter houses. The research study surveyed more than 2,000 homeowners from across the country, and about 70 percent said they wanted a house that has character and charm.
Top five priorities
1. An all-new kitchen that looks great and is fun to work in
2. The right amount and type of customized storage
3. A master bath and bedroom that feels like a luxurious hotel room
4. Well-designed spaces that can be personalized
5. A separate and conveniently sized laundry/workroom
The study also found that more than half of those surveyed wanted green-certified building and remodeling options presented to them. This figure jumped to more than two out three in the Generation Y age group (people born between 1977 and 1998).
Another growing trend among homeowners in the past few years is the need for expanded outdoor living space. About 40 percent of respondents said that their outdoor living areas are almost as important as their interior home. The traditional barbeque grills and patio tables just aren’t cutting it, and consumers today are shelling out big bucks for customized stone firepits and elaborate outdoor dining furniture.
Planning for life changes
When asked what specialty space the homeowners would prefer, 36 percent named the sunroom, 35 percent said an extra-large porch and 34 percent said an oversized laundry room. Many new homes being built today have turned the dull, often cramped laundry room into a multipurpose area with extra space to do arts and crafts projects or wrap gifts.
“Today the pace of change, in families and with technology, is so fast that consumers demand homes that will change with them,” says Gayle Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes and Garden.
Baby Boomers especially are planning for these changes. In the next five to 10 years, about one out of three Boomers expects an aging parent to move in or an adult child or relative to move back home. As a result, the need for guest accommodations will be in demand. The survey also found that this generation will be looking for single-floor living.
So whether you’re preparing your home to sell or looking to buy a new one, it’s always good to keep in mind the ever-changing trends affecting the housing market.