City seeks to draw line between public, private sewer problems

By FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

City officials are trying to define the difference between public and private sewer problems.

The policy initiative comes just more than a month after a controversial decision by the City Commission to approve work in the Hillwood neighborhood at the request of homeowners who had raw sewage standing in their yard.

The concern from city officials opposed to the work was that repairing private lateral lines on one piece of private property would open the floodgates to more requests which could cost the city more than $100,000 a year to address.

So to avoid that dilemma, yet not leaving residents without help, Sewer Director Bill Scalf made proposals to establish criteria for addressing a problem, how to prioritize projects and how to define what is a public and what is a private sewer line.

Scalf talked about the proposals at the commission work session Monday.

"From an insurance standpoint, there is a lot of liability if we accept maintenance," Scalf warned commissioners.

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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