How the Village of Mount Pleasant pays for certain infrastructure projects like water and sewer improvements – including the construction of new extensions – is up for discussion, but has not yet been concluded.
Trustees met during a special board meeting Wednesday to talk about how the village should fund these projects. The meeting was prompted in part by the controversial Highway V project and a recent vote not to level special assessments for the residents on Cynthia Lane who want to move off well systems and into municipal water service.
Board members did not come to a consensus, but Trustee Gary Feest told The Journal Times he’s open to suggestions but believes there has to be a more equitable way to level assessments. Trustee David DeGroot said state statutes are in place to help communities stay consistent, and he worries about playing too loose with the rules and limiting the village’s ability to develop.
Residents on Cynthia Lane support the project and requested it from the village, but board members voted in favor of moving forward with the work – for which a contract has already been awarded – but balked at assessing each homeowner there $13,900 to pay for the $139,000 extension.
On Highway V, board members voted in April to borrow $2.1 million to run sewer and water along Highway V from Caledonia down to Highway 20 in Mount Pleasant as part of a development plan for Caledonia in the immediate future and for Mount Pleasant in a few years. What was supposed to be closed system would not have cost the residents on Highway V anything, but village officials say installing a gravity system instead helps prepare for future commercial development in the area.
Having a gravity system means homeowners on Highway V would typically be required to hook up for both sewer and water, but Mount Pleasant trustees voted last year to change village ordinance the eliminates that requirement. Property owners do have 10 years before the assessment comes due and another 20 years to pay it off.