SHIRLEY -- The state's Community Septic Repair Loan Program, funded by the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, provides low interest loans to participating communities.

The loans are intended to be parceled out to residents to repair or replace failed septic systems or hook up to the municipal wastewater collection system.

Treasurer Kevin Johnston handles the paperwork. In July of this year, he sent a memo stating that the town is participating in the program again this year, with $400,000 in a low-interest loan nest egg set aside for the purpose.

The program aims to encourage Massachusetts residents whose septic systems have failed to repair or replace them, even if their properties are not for sale, triggering Title 5 inspections and regulations that would give the homeowners no choice. The state's goal is to prevent failed septic systems from contaminating the state's rivers and streams.

There are no income restrictions to qualify. Loan applications should be sent to the Board of Health, which administers the program.

-- M.E. Jones