Bay holding June, July meetings on southern lateral assessments

Published on: 6/4/2013

Whitefish Bay — Village staff will call a stakeholder meeting in late June to inform residents about upcoming sewer lateral work, after which the Village Board will hold a July 1 hearing and meeting on special assessments for the work.

At an upcoming June 17 special Village Board meeting, trustees will also consider whether to amend the village's assessment ordinance to allow property owners up to 10 years to pay back the village instead of the current seven years. Trustees seemed willing to make the change to help property owners shoulder the burden of costly assessments.

Nearly 400 homes affected

On Monday the Village Board approved a preliminary resolution that signals their intent to assess nearly 400 property owners on the village's south end for the cost of repairing or replacing the private laterals that connect homes to the village's sewer infrastructure. On July 1 the board will consider a final resolution to assess those property owners.

According to assistant village engineer Aaron Jahncke, the lateral work is expected to cost between $3,600 and $6,000 per property, depending on the extent of the damage found. He said the village will soon be sending out a letter to each affected property owner detailing a cost estimate, once contractors bid for the work and prices come into focus.

Village staff will hold an informational meeting from 6-9 p.m. on either June 25 or 26, Jahncke said.

Residents question repair technique

Several residents of the affected area, known as Milwaukee River basin 1203, questioned the cost of the lateral work, the two-year warranty on the lateral repairs, the time line of the work, and a technique of the repairs which was pioneered six years ago in Delaware.

Resident Mike Koerner said the village hasn't properly informed residents of the lateral projects and the contractors who may end up doing the work, and that six years isn't enough to know whether the relatively new technique is successful.

"Until we see the companies being considered, and have the opportunity to go back and individually research those companies, and we hear from Delaware ... I don't think you've (satisfied Wisconsin open records law)," Koerner said, "and it bothers me tremendously."

Jahncke said that while the technique of using cured resin to create a "pipe within a pipe" has been around for decades, the practice of installing O-rings which swell to prevent water entering the sewer system is relatively new, though reportedly effective.

He said that during the two year warranty, whichever contractor does the work will inspect the resin lining to check for weak spots, and if any are found, the contractor would fix it at his or her own expense.