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Some Whitefish Bay property owners might have to foot hefty lateral repair bills

Repair work expected to start in March; property owners will be assessed

Nov. 21, 2012

Whitefish Bay - Televising inspections of private laterals connected to sanitary sewer basin 1203 have been completed as scheduled, and the village will soon be contacting property owners regarding recommended repairs.

In an update to the Village Board on Monday on the 1203 main and lateral rehabilitation project, which services 386 property owners on a 13-block wide area in the southeastern portion of the village, near Cumberland School, Village Engineer/Public Works Director Daniel Naze said defects of some nature were found on nearly every lateral.

Homeowners will be special assessed for repairs, to be completed during spring and summer of 2013. Assessment costs to property owners will vary depending on the scope of work required. Naze estimated that costs could range from $2,000 to $3,000 for a property owner serviced by a lateral in need of more minimal lining repairs, to as much as $5,000 to $8,000 for more extensive cases.

According to a memo from Aaron Jahncke, assistant village engineer, "90 percent of laterals show direct evidence of rust intrusion and/or mineral deposits," with only 1 to 2 percent of inspected laterals determined to be in good condition.

Individual inspection reports will be mailed to each property owner within the next one to two weeks, Naze said, to be followed by informational meetings in December to explain the findings.

Each property owner will have the option of viewing and requesting a copy of the video footage of his or her lateral inspection during the informational meetings, according to Jahncke's memo.

The approximately $170,000 cost for the village to complete the lateral inspections, through contractor The Expediters, will be reimbursed by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Naze said.

Specifications for the recommended repair work are still scheduled to be prepared and go out to bid in January, with a public hearing date to be established.

The construction schedule presented earlier this year indicated that repair work would begin in March and be completed by October of next year.

Trustee Jay Miller asked whether the condition of laterals in other areas of the village would likely be comparable to what was found for those connected to basin 1203.

"Clay laterals are common, and there's a little variance in the age of the housing stock down there, but I think it's fairly representative of what you'd find all over the place," Naze said.

By 2014, the village should be able to evaluate the success of the project, Naze said, and determine whether to move ahead with another phase of lateral inspections and repairs.

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