Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 19:39
Village officials concede cost of connection order needs to be addressed
Village of Saukville officials made a first attempt this week to come up with a modified ordinance that addresses mandatory sump pump connections to new storm sewer lines.
The issue came up earlier this fall, as residents in the Linden Street neighborhood objected to the cost of having to comply with the village sump connection ordinance.
New storm sewers were brought into the area as part of a road reconstruction project.
According to the ordinance, property owners now have one year to connect their stormwater system to the sewer. That requirement was put into place to prevent clear water from being sent to the sanitary sewer, which in turn can overburden the wastewater treatment plant.
However, several owners of property in the older neighborhood have noted that they have never had sump systems operating in their homes.
Realizing the complexity of the problem, the Village Board asked Village Attorney Gerry Antoine to draft an ordinance that addresses the village’s concerns but treats property owners fairly.
Antoine’s first attempt at crafting an ordinance was reviewed by the Finance Committee Tuesday.
The draft ordinance puts the obligation on the property owner to demonstrate “that there is no clear water infiltration whatsoever from the property into the village sanitary sewer system.”
In most cases, officials said, that would require televising the sewer lines leading from the property.
Under Antoine’s proposed ordinance, a waiver of the connection requirement would only be granted to the existing owner of the property. If that property is sold, the subsequent owner would have to reapply for another waiver.
Although officials seemed content with the proposed ordinance, several residents wondered how the rules would be applied to them.
Specifically, James Jackson said his home has never had a sump system. In order to connect a sump pump to the new storm sewers, basement contractors told him he would have to install an entire drain tile system around his home at a cost of $25,000 to $28,000.
“That’s not fair to me. If you want to pay for the drain tiles, I’ll pay for the sump pump,” Jackson said.
Village President Barb Dickmann was swayed by the argument.
“I am not going to ask someone to put in $25,000 in improvements,” Dickmann said.
She said the public reaction was what the village was looking for by considering the draft ordinance, promising more refinements would be made to address neighbor concerns.
“We have no intention of pushing this through quickly. We want to do what is right and fair,” Dickmann said moments before the committee tabled action on the proposed ordinance.