ENM Council considers policy change

Patrick Fisher, The New Prague Times

The Elko New Market City Council is considering a policy change concerning a change in the waiver of fees along Xerxes Avenue. The proposed change grew out of a request for a waiver on a little more than $4,000 in connection fees from the Jodi and Jeff Lucast family at the council’s Thursday, Feb. 28, meeting.

The couple was present at the February 28 meeting. They explained that their house is serviced by a septic system, which is nearing the end of its service. According to discussions they’ve had with City Engineer Rich Revering to hookup to the city they would have to go from the current hookup, around the house, requiring taking down a fence, digging up their front yard and half of their driveway. They said if they do it like that they were looking at thousands of dollars in costs. They were also concerned that if a lift station is needed for the connection, who would pay for it?

"It’s very frustrating,” said Jodi.

The family would prefer to go to a stub that is straight out from the house along Xerxes Avenue. They feel that would cut excavation costs in half. Revering explained the stub is already being used by one residence. The city usually doesn’t allow a shared connection system, because if one house clogs up, it will affect both. They could allow it, but he didn’t recommend it. It was disputed that the first location for the hookup to the house had been put in the wrong place.

Revering was not sure about it being right or wrong, but as best he could tell that line had been installed there because of an existing line. He didn’t dispute that it’s not an optimal line for the house. He noted if the stub at Xerxes Avenue was used, it may require digging up part of the avenue and then restoring it.

City Administrator Tom Terry said that cost would likely go against the homeowner and it could be comparable to the other work.

Council member Jon Schwichtenberg said he knew of contracts for multiconnection systems where the parties share expenses.

City Attorney Andrea Poehler of the firm Campbell Knutson said while there was no reason for a neighbor to do such a contract, one could be considered.

Schwichtenberg didn’t think they should do the waiver, but set policy for this issue.

Council member Dawn Seepersaud agreed with Schwichtenberg about the change in policy. She also said she has seen agreements where people agree to share a service.

Schwichtenberg suggested they make.....

To see more on this story pick up the March 14, 2019 print edition of The New Prague Times. 



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