Ox­ford City Coun­cil to pur­sue sewer sys­tem ease­ments

Homes 100 feet from sewer line to be con­nected to it

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DAR­RYL WELCH dwelch@cov­news.com

Af­ter the city coun­cil de­clined to take ac­tion on sewer tap fees at its Mon­day night meet­ing, Ox­ford Mayor Jerry Rose­berry gave As­sis­tant City Man­ager Matthew Pep­per and Util­i­ties Depart­ment Su­per­in­ten­dent Jody Reid the go ahead to start vis­it­ing 28 homes along Emory Street to ac­quire ease­ments needed for the city’s sewer sys­tem ex­pan­sion with the un­der­stand­ing that the current fee sched­ule is sub­ject to change.

Un­der the current plan, ap­proved by the coun­cil at its May 1 meet­ing, home­own­ers will be re­quired to pay a $3,600 fee to hook-up to the sewer. Those home­own­ers who pay the fee up­front will re­ceive a 10 per­cent dis­count. Home­own­ers who choose to pay the hook-up fee in monthly in­stall­ments will pay $60 a month plus a $5 monthly ser­vice fee for 60 months.

Ox­ford has an or­di­nance re­quir­ing all homes within 100 feet of a sewer line to be con­nected to it.

In ex­change for the 28 ease­ments needed to in­stall the sys­tem, un­der the current plan the city will re­im­burse those home­own­ers up to $1,800 to­ward the costs for hav­ing their house con­nected to the sys­tem and clos­ing their sep­tic tank.

Af­ter home­own­ers came out in force to a May 15 work ses­sion to voice their dis­ap­proval with the plan, the coun­cil and the mayor said the fee is­sue would be re­vis­ited.

Rose­berry said ac­quir­ing the ease­ments and mov­ing for­ward with the sewer project now is im­por­tant be­cause the Emory Street I-20 pedes­trian bridge and side­walk is sched­uled to go out for bids in Oc­to­ber.

“As we’ve talked about many times be­fore, we do not want to put to put the side­walk down be­fore we put the sewer down,” he said, “We don’t want to do that. We need to move ahead with this.

Rose­berry told mem­bers that for­mer City Man­ager Bob Schwartz said many cit­i­zens want to know the cost of hook­ing up to the sys­tem be­fore they ap­prove an ease­ment.

“The con­tact our prior city man­ager had with the pub­lic was they would like to know if the coun­cil is go­ing to change the fee be­fore they

would de­cide if they were go­ing to grant an ease­ment,” he said.

Post 4 Coun­cilmem­ber David Eady said he was told the fee is­sue would be dis­cussed in Au­gust.

“I feel like we need to have a work ses­sion with am­ple pub­lic no­tice to all the par­ties in­volved who would be af­fected, the 42 prop­er­ties who would be af­fected, so that we can have a more thor­ough dis­cus­sion,” he said.

Pep­per laid out the time­line for the project pro­vided by City En­gi­neer Robert John­son.

“If we’re able to ac­quire the ease­ments by Au­gust or Septem­ber, and the GDOT ap­proval, which we’re on pace to get by that time, we can start re­ceiv­ing bids in Novem­ber, you, as a coun­cil, can hope­fully choose a con­trac­tor by De­cem­ber,” he said.

“We can start con­struc­tion in Fe­bru­ary of 2018 and then hope­fully have that com­plet- ed by May of 2018.”

Pep­per said the sewer tap fees will be on the agenda for the coun­cil’s Au­gust 14 work ses­sion.

Dar­ryl Welch | The Cov­ing­ton News

A to­tal of 28 homes along Emory Street will be vis­ited to ac­quire ease­ments needed for the city’s sewer sys­tem ex­pan­sion with the un­der­stand­ing the fee sched­ule is sub­ject to change.

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