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County residents to get discount at Easton's Beach [1/25/07 NDN]

When I first read the headline, I thought it was a promising example of regional cooperation.

Turns out that nobody wants to swim at a polluted beach, so the city has to lower rates for parking and bathhouses and open it up to non-residents to slow down the increasing vacancy rate. :blink:

From the Daily News...

The beach's 224 bathhouses were built in 1992 after Hurricane Bob damaged the area. They were so popular, a lottery was held to determine who would rent them. There was a waiting list of people for a bathhouse during the next few years, Cooper said.

That changed, she said, when the beach was closed to swimming because of fecal bacteria pollution. In 2004, the beach had seven days of closures. There was one closure day in 2005, and in 2006, the beach was closed to swimming for a total of 12 days.

Cooper said there were about six bathhouse vacancies in 2004 and about 20 vacancies in 2005. Revenues from the rental of bathhouses are used to pay for the cleanup of seaweed in the summer.

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Sewer Rule Faces First Challenges in Newport [2/9/07 NDN]

The homeowner whose new construction on Callender Avenue sparked all the Historic District debate in that neighborhood has a new problem on his hands. The city won't let him tie into the sewer system. Sewer permits were issued to him in 2006, but since the sewer hook-in moratorium went into effect in January, the city has effectively revoked those already-issued permits. The homeowner is not ruling out the option of suing the city if things don't work out.

A similar situation happened to a couple building a home out along the Drive. The city revoked their already-issued permits once the moratorium took effect. Their right to tie-in to the sewer system were restored, however, because according to Mayor Waluk, they are in different circumstances. The house along the Drive is tying into a private sewer line, so it's different, Waluk says. Except it's not, because that private sewer line goes straight to a city pipe. So the end result is actually the same.

The Callender Avenue homeowner contacted City Council members about his plight. Here's what Jeanne-Marie Napolitano had to say:

Councilwoman Jeanne Marie Napolitano confirmed that and said she agrees with Page that his permit should be honored.

"This is not right and it's not fair," she said.

She said Page has the same rights as the homeowner at Harrison Avenue and Beacon Hill Road.

Napolitano said just about everyone agrees that the stormwater the floods into and infiltrates the sewer system during heavy rains is the real problem. The influx of stormwater fills the system to capacity and the excess flows into the harbor. A few new sewer connections to the system each year do not strain the capacity of the system, Napolitano said.

"This moratorium does not solve the problem," she said.

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