Residents want assessment for water line, solution to dry wells

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — Residents along a private road are asking Lincoln Township trustees to help them in their effort to get a water line connected to their properties.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Joan Long and other residents who live along Mix Path presented a petition to have the township establish an assessment district.

Long, who along with her neighbors use well water, said they want to use municipal water because of how much sand is infiltrating their wells. Some of the residents at the board meeting said their wells have dried up and need to be replaced.

However, not every resident is in favor of such a district. Among the nine homes along the private road, five want the water main and three have expressed opposition. One residence is considered vacant.

Clerk Stacy Loar-Porter said the group of residents submitted a petition to the township to conduct a study to see what it would cost and if it is feasible for water.

For the meeting next month, Loar-Porter said there would be a resolution brought to the board on whether to assess the district. If approved, there would then be a public hearing for the affected homeowners.

Of course, if the majority of the property owners present a petition to stop the assessment, that can be done as well.

“We’re looking to see if we can even establish an assessment district,” Loar-Porter said after the meeting. “If we can, the residents want to have a deferment so the homeowners who don’t want to pay for the water main, don’t have to.”

The township needs to make an assessment because it doesn’t pay for water lines. Loar-Porter said the majority of water lines in the township are put in by property owners or developers.

“What’s happening is, we are paying for it all up front and they’re going to pay us back,” Loar-Porter said referring to the assessment. “They can either do it all at once or through an assessment, which is like a loan.”

Trustees had questions in regards to the private road’s easement.

The private road, which Frank Small owns, would have to be torn up. This would require him to grant the residents an easement to allow the water line to go underground.

Another concern for the opposing landowners is whether they connect into the line, their property could be affected when sold.

If a resident opposes the line and sells the house, the expense of the deferral is still attached to their property and would be passed onto the next owner if they chose to connect to the main.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Oct. 12, 2016)
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