Bay goes back to the basics for sanitary sewer repairs
Projects include lining sewer mains, fixing manholes
Whitefish Bay — Since the Whitefish Bay Village Board struck down the option to fix sanitary laterals throughout the village, staff presented a short-term plan to trustees on Monday on ways to repair the village's antiquated sanitary sewer system.
After hearing criticism from residents in early July, the Village Board voted down a project that would have repaired sewer laterals connected to nearly 400 homes on the southern end of Whitefish Bay. Property owners would have paid their own share of the lateral repairs that had an estimated individual cost of $2,500 to $7,000.
Though outright repairs were denied, the village has to do some "near term projects," said Village Engineer Daniel Naze. No action was taken at the meeting Monday. The Village Board did give staff direction on how to address sanitary sewer repairs as they prepare a draft Capital Improvement Plan for 2014.
"The key thing being is at the present time there should be no further intention to use money that we had borrowed to do work on private property for the purposes to assess it back," Naze said. "We'll end up doing projects like we have been doing historically."
The plan calls for lining the sewer mains in an area known as Milwaukee River Basin 1203 that was approved as part of 2013 capital work. A number of properties in need of work have already been identified. There are funds available from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to line or replace the laterals at those locations at no cost to the homeowner, according to village documents.
Staff also recommends that the funds borrowed for the 2013 lateral program be used to line the sanitary sewer pipes and reconstruct the manholes on Lake Drive south of Fairmont Avenue and replace the sewer main in Hampton Avenue, west of Marlborough Drive as funding permits.
When mainlines are lined or replaced, the lateral from the main to the property line can be assessed, which is consistent with the village's current policy. There is an ordinance that was adopted in 2012 that permits the village to assess for sanitary lateral repairs and replacement, including those on private property. Historically, as laterals were replaced, the portion of the lateral in the right of way was assessed. Staff is looking to continue this type of work as "near-term projects," Naze said.
The Village Board will be presented with a full CIP plan for 2014 at an upcoming meeting.
Looking to the future, Naze said they will have to revisit a long-term capital improvement plan that addresses the funding of lateral work on private property.
— Danielle Switalski
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!