RE: Your poll question: "Do you think the City of Highland should be able to force homeowners to hook up to the new sewer system?"
The sewer system for the City of Highland was the topic of discussion for a number of years. There were several articles in your newspaper about it and the meetings concerning it. The majority of the citizens voted to have this system installed.
I take exception to you highlighting Highland in your question when it is required by all of the cities having a sewer system. Ash Flat and Hardy had this same problem following their construction. This is a problem of concern with us at this time. Each resident was advised of the date that this service would be available for connection and advised that they were going to be billed for this service after that date. A majority of these people made their connections and complied with these regulations. Some have not and we are required by State and Federal regulations and by City Ordinances to require these connections. Everyone within 300 feet of a sewer main line are required to connect.
Reference was made concerning the citizens being lied to when they signed up. I personally acquired the signed easement papers from each property owner. This easement was to allow us to have access on their property to place the service lines and grinder pumps. These were all at no charge to the homeowner. They were all told that everyone within 300 feet of the main line would have to hookup to that line. The homeowners are required to make the connection from their house to the pump supplied by us.
Everyone was told the pump installation and electrical hookup was at our expense, but that the connection of the home sewer to the pump was their expense. They were told that we had applied for a grant through WRPDD to pay for the home hookup for those low-moderate income people that qualified. The grant was approved and managed by WRPDD, with applications taken and those that qualified were connected at no charge to them.
Your question of this type should be made when the ordinances and regulations are being made.
Jerome Norwood, Mayor