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6/23/2022 Assembly approves Sen. Raptakis and Rep. Serpa’s bill allowing sewer assessment costs to be paid in installments
Legislation represents the 3rd and final implementation of the recommendations made in the Auditor General’s Coventry sewer program audit
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation (2022-S 2208, 2022-H 7467) sponsored by Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa which would authorize the town of Coventry to provide for the payment of sewer assessments in installments up to a 30 year period.

“So many residents in Coventry have been hit with absolute sticker shock concerning the sewer assessment costs, generating significant anxiety for many people in Coventry.  This legislation will ease some of that stress and anxiety by clearly establishing a sensible and rational payment schedule so that the sewer work may continue without financially devastating Coventry’s residents.  The 30 year timetable also allows many residents to tie this new cost in with their mortgage payments as well,” said Senator Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich).

“This bill will allow the residents of Coventry to pay for their large sewer assessment costs in a reasonable and timely manner.  These costs are significant to individuals, especially those living on fixed incomes, and this bill treats Coventry’s residents fairly while continuing the sewer program work,” said Representative Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).

Under the legislation, Coventry is authorized to provide for the payment of sewer assessments in installment payments.  The sewer assessments levied by the town may be paid in as many as 30 annual installments in accordance with the terms of the loan secured for sewer construction. 

In the case of installment payments, interest rates would not exceed a maximum rate of 1.25 percent above the average interest rate the town is charged on any loan used to fund the constructions of the sewers.

Annual installment payments may be paid on a quarterly basis and delinquent (penalty) interest shall be applied to the account if the annual installment payment is not received in full within a year.  Delinquent interest would be assessed in the same manner and at the same rate as established for the collection of real estate taxes.

The previous Auditor General recommendations that have been implemented are the prohibition of the town of Coventry from charging homeowners the costs of road repaving relating to sewage work, which was passed last legislative session, and in 2019, legislation was passed which capped the interest rates charged by the town to ratepayers for the town’s sewer project.  The Auditor General’s report on the sewer project was released in 2019.

The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903