Article 1 at Orleans Special Town Meeting Oct. 16 asks for $3.6 million to install the downtown sewer collection system.

I have been involved with the Orleans Water Quality panels for the past three years, serving on the Cape Cod Commission 208, then the OQWAP advisory panel, as well as the Town P3 pubic private partnership group.

There are two sides to this article and both have material that has or will be going out this week. There are some additional facts that should be told.

Only do this once in this area. Can you imagine coming back in 2024-25 telling the town that we are going to dig up Main Street, Route 28 and 6A in the state project and destroy all the investment we made in 2018/19?

The schedule submitted by Tom Daley and discussed with MassDOT indicates that this work could be accomplished in 24 weeks if the town bids the job and does it themselves.

The current contractor would "stand down" in March at the direction of MassDOT until this work is finished. The MassDOT contractor (Lawrence Lynch) would then come back to work to finish the job in late fall of 2018 or early spring 2019.

They were originally scheduled to finish in the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019 so the extension would only be from six to 12 months. The storm drainage is all installed. The overhead electrical and cable and telephone pole work is being done by the utilities and that would not be affected by the delay.

Lawrence Lynch’s work to be delayed are sidewalks, curbing, ornamental lighting and other street enhancements (plantings) that the town meeting voted in October 2014, and final paving.

There are 65 businesses that would be affected on Main Street, 6A (Rogers and Gray to Cape Cod Five) and Route 28 from Main Street to Beth Bishop.

This is not a pipe to "nowhere." The Town Meeting voted to undertake 25 percent plans in October 2016. That work is complete and tells us exactly where the pipes have to be and who has to be connected. That is why the town was able to prepare final plans and specs in about three weeks and submit them to MassDOT on July 31.

We have talked about four phases of downtown project. Every phase goes though this area so no part of downtown can be done without this project being installed.

Installing the gravity system downtown now keeps all other options open.

The current estimate for the downtown collection system is $19,121,800. This proposal installs the most complicated part of the system. The rest of the system can be vacuum, low pressure, STEP/STEG and be easily tied into this system.

The OWQAP undertook an extensive evaluation twice of cluster and centralized alternatives, most recently in January of 2015, and found a lack of adequate available public land to construct the several systems that would be needed.

Every cluster system has to find a disposal and treatment plant location and be approved by DEP.

We cannot continue to delay this project and watch the costs continue to escalate.

Sid Snow lives in Orleans.