Repeal of the village’s sewer connection ordinance was tabled Monday for two weeks because the village expects to receive new information regarding the Highway V sewer and water project.
The current ordinance requires property owners to connect to any new sewer and water infrastructure within a year of its completion.
Village President Jerry Garski made the announcement about the ordinance during Monday’s regularly scheduled board meeting. After the meeting he said he was not in possession of the information but that he’d received a call from Don Schulz asking that the item be pulled from the agenda because Tom Devine, the Highway V group’s attorney, was sending a letter to the village.
“It was the right thing to do tabling the ordinance because we would have risked approving the change and then potentially having to amend the change depending on what this letter says,” Garski added.
At issue is a contract the villages signed in 2008 where Caledonia agreed to pay Mount Pleasant $5 million (plus interest) when and if Caledonia hooked up to the sewer connection that runs along Highway 20 out to I-94. Because the corresponding connection hadn’t been established, Caledonia wasn’t required to make any payments to Mount Pleasant.
Original designs called for the system to be closed, meaning residents would not have access and would therefore not be assessed for any of the work. The Village of Caledonia was considered the developer driving the project, so by state statute residents would not be required to pay.
An amendment to the agreement signed by both villages in August 2014, though, has outlined a combination forced (closed)/gravity system that will be open, triggering both the connection issue and the special assessments.
Schulz – a former village trustee and president of the Highway V residents’ group – said he couldn’t comment about the contents of the letter.
The expected ordinance change would have allowed residents to defer connection and any special assessments for new sewer and water lines that run past their property until one of three things occurred: sale of the property; transfer of the property; or dividing the property. During the deferment interest continues to accrue.
Heather Cramer, a Highway V resident, during public comment noted that an assessment deferred is not the relief trustees promised.
“Deferring these payments is not a benefit because there’s interest tacked on,” she said. “You guys say you feel sympathetic for the property owners on Highway V, but it’s not believable because nothing is changing.”
“Deferment for 10 years is just kicking the can down the road,” he said.
The next Mount Pleasant Village Board meeting is July 13.