One Sun Prairie resident came to city hall to protest a $4,000 assessment to line sewer laterals on her West Main Street home.
In all, 15 property owners were assessed $60,000 toward the $121,855 project. The city decided to cap each assessment at $4,000, even though costs per property ranged from $5,742 to $7,847.
At the May 16 public hearing on the West Main Street laterals, the woman told Public Works Committee members she wanted to show the impact the assessment had on her personally.
“That’s why I brought my family today,” she said. “So you can look into the faces of taxpayers, citizens and property owners and see what kind of struggles we go through from day-to-day, $4,000 may not seem like a lot to you, but it can make and break people.”
The city is offering a 10-year payment plan with interest rates up to 3 percent. The city has special provisions for homeowners who can prove that the assessment would be a financial hardship.
Sewer lateral lining helps prevent clear water from entering the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
Clearwater can cause overload on the system, with wastewater backing up into homes and businesses. It also reduces the life of the city’s wastewater treatment plant with costly upgrades and could violate the state regulations for discharge, according to John Krug, Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent.
During the 2018 construction season, crews found lining laterals, instead of replacing them on West Main Street, was extremely successful. Krug said at a previous meeting that the West Main sewer lateral assessments came in higher than expected because it was a smaller project. City officials are working on a policy to line/replace sanitary sewer laterals that contribute a significant amount of clearwater to the sewer system. The city will televise and inspect all laterals and residents will be notified of any defects noted during the inspection. Property owners would have to pay lining/replacement of their sewer laterals.
Parking restrictions vote postponed
A plan to limit on-street parking around the Sun Prairie High School is being postponed.
Neighbor complaints of high school students parking in front of mailboxes and trash/recycling bins has the city pondering parking restrictions on Sanibel Lane, Hawthorn Drive, Sandstone Trail, Pelican Lane and Whitetail Drive.
Committee members decided to postpone a vote on the proposed plan until city staff could create a map showing the proposed parking restrictions.
District 1 Alder Steve Stocker said he wants to talk with residents and show them the plan before it comes up for a vote at a future committee meeting.