Mayville sewer lateral plan moves back to sewer commission again

October 9, 2018

An ongoing issue over Mayville’s sewer lateral policy continued Monday night.

The Common Council voted 4-2 to move the issue back to the wastewater commission. Council members Kim Olson and Rachel Forster voted against the measure.

Mayor Rob Boelk on Monday proposed giving 60 property owners a $1,000 credit after they were required to repair or replace their sewer laterals — the line that connects buildings to the city sewer — following inspection, with the money coming out of a certain $280,000 fund, not from taxpayers. The city is in the middle of its budgeting process for the next year.

However, the fund is under the control of the commission, not the Common Council. Olson made a motion to recommend to the commission that it follow Boelk’s plan, but the motion failed.

“We can’t twist their arms. They can do what they like,” said council member Bob Smith. “The point is this item is whose responsibility it is to figure out what to do about this injustice.”

Smith said, as a member of the sewer commission, he has faith that it will finally resolve the issue.

“I think there was a mistake here and they made the mistake,” Olson said “It should come out of their budget and these people should get some money.”

The issue of the sewer laterals has been ongoing for a few years now, with discussion over what language to use for ordinances, who it would affect, who could be given more of a break, the impact on private properties and businesses and more.

Boelk pushed to end the requirement that property owners replace their sewer laterals out of pocket if an inspection found them to be defective, which the council repealed over the summer. Residents had spoken out about the issue, saying it placed too much of a financial burden on them.

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