City Of Douglas Peppered With Homes Without Proper - Or Any - Water Main Hook-Ups
Numerous properties in the City of Douglas without proper hook-ups to main water lines - or not hooked up at all - may come as a surprise to some local taxpayers, especially when they learn their property becomes part of a special assessment district.
Douglas City Manager William LeFevere reported at Monday’s city council meeting that several homes throughout town are hooked up to water, not through an underground water main in front of their homes, but sometimes through neighboring homes’ lines, creating what he referred to as “spaghetti lines.”
Spaghetti lines are connections not up to standards that could cause issues, including pipes that easily freeze during winter.
“They (those properties not connected to a water main) are acquiring public water some way,” said LeFevere in talking about how the city does not precisely know how some properties get their water.
He said the recent reliability studies conducted by the local wastewater treatment plant has demonstrated undersized water lines and missing water mains in sections of Douglas.
In a realted move, the Douglas City Council passed resolutions Monday that initiates the process of creating the Fremont-Ellis Street Water Main Special Assessment District, which includes nines homes located in the center of town and certain sections of the following streets:
* Freemont (address numbers 121, 147, 150);
* Mixer (42, 25,91);
* Ellis (43 and a new home);
* and 201 Heirloom Lane.
Instigated by the construction of two new homes that will require hook-ups, the Fremont-Ellis water main project will entail pavement removal and pavement restoration and is expected to cost over $100,000.
If city officials decide that all costs should be shouldered by those within the district, each property owner would end up paying more than $11,000.
And that is precisely a topic that city council will have to discuss: what part or portion of the special assessment should be paid by the property owner and what part, if any, should be paid by the city-at-large. Along with that discussion is the question of how long the life of the assessment will be - five years, 10 years or something different.
Before any construction can begin, the special assessment district process does legally require further public meetings and a public hearing, which LeFevere said will be scheduled at a later date.
As for an initial city payment plan, LeFevere said, “We are going to bond for improvements and then they (property owners) will have to compensate us (once the project is complete).
“There are many other sections in town where there are no water lines,” LeFevere told the council.
“This is not the last time (the city will have to create a special assessment district to install a water main).”