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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: MS

    Around 2001/02, the city annexed the area I live in...Shortly after that, we received a letter advising us that we would need to hook to city water/sewer,and that if would agree to it NOW, they would waive the cost of doing so...We did...2011, we receive a notice from them giving us 90 days to connect, or face penalties...I set out to get some estimates, and was told it would cost between $7-$10K, because the city had not installed "lift stations" so we needed special pumps,etc...After numerous people complained, the city called a meeting with those of us effected by this...After a lengthy Q&A, the city agreed to find grant/funding for this, and we left satisfied...

    Fast forward to yesterday...I received a registered letter stating that we have 15 days to connect, or they "...have no choice but to take legal action..." After 90 days, if I have still not connected, they will begin billing me "...monthly for minimum water and/or sewer...penalties may be imposed for violations of City Ordinances..."

    About 40++ homes are effected by this, possibly more...None of us can afford to comply, period...At that meeting in '11, I posed several questions to the City Attorney about the Civil or Criminal consequences for non compliance, and he was unable to answer those questions...

    This a "nutshell" version of events, obviously, but how/what/where do I begin fighting this?...At that same meeting, I managed to get the Director of City Utilities to admit that our area is the ONLY part of the City that needs this setup...Approximately 20K residents, and on 400 or so lots have these special pumps...

    I guess what I need to know is how to stand my ground...I know this eventually becomes an EPA issue because we have a water well as well as a septic system...The septic has to be dug up, or filled in with a specific size gravel,etc...

    Do I have any leverage here, given the circumstances?..The city adjacent to us did the exact same thing, but they used grant money to pay for the residents effected by their annexation...


    Thank you in advance for any opinion offered...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,387

    Default Re: Being Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    Quote Quoting richards
    View Post
    2011, we receive a notice from them giving us 90 days to connect, or face penalties...I set out to get some estimates, and was told it would cost between $7-$10K, because the city had not installed "lift stations" so we needed special pumps,etc...After numerous people complained, the city called a meeting with those of us effected by this...After a lengthy Q&A, the city agreed to find grant/funding for this, and we left satisfied...
    Quote Quoting richards
    Fast forward to yesterday...I received a registered letter stating that we have 15 days to connect, or they "...have no choice but to take legal action..." After 90 days, if I have still not connected, they will begin billing me "...monthly for minimum water and/or sewer...penalties may be imposed for violations of City Ordinances..."
    You were satisfied with the city's proposal and grants as of some point in time back in 2001. It's now July, 2012. It's neither clear why you did not act in response to the prior notices and satisfactory assistance plan back in 2011, or why the plan is less satisfactory now than it was back in 2011 when you found it acceptable.
    Quote Quoting richards
    This a "nutshell" version of events, obviously, but how/what/where do I begin fighting this?
    If this has been going on for more than a year, you reached a satisfactory resolution in 2011, and now you've changed your mind, I cannot promise you either that you still have something to fight or that any effort to fight would remain timely. You and your fellow affected neighbors should discuss the details with a local real estate lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Being Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    The city never came through with the grant/funding...This letter today was "out of the blue", since the last we heard, they were on course to do the work with grant funding...So this has not been a case "of changing our mind"...I notice that a new City Manager has been hired a few months ago, and that may or may not have effected this...I plan to call tomorrow, but I simply wanted some idea of where I stood, before doing so....

    I certainly appreciate your opinion and time...Thank you...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,644

    Default Re: Being Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    If the funding remains available, the problem would be solved? I guess you'll know tomorrow morning.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Being Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    Don't you have a city councilman, selectman, etc. representing your area?? While it's OK to be in contact with municipal agencies, they get their funding, and directions from the top, the city manager, or mayor, who normally responds to a city councul. Politically, the way most municipalities is set up and work is your representative looks out for you, seeks funding, and figure out what to do.

    With 40++ homes, whoever the rep is should be able to count votes, and know what to do to get re-elected.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Being Required to Hook Up to City Water, Sewer Post-Annexation

    I think your probably confusing a few issues here. First, you initially indicated that the City agreed to hook you up to both water and sewer. My guess - and you should clarify if I'm wrong - is that they created utility stubs to your property. that is to say they tapped both the water and sewer main in the street and extended a service line under the road to your property. Is that what you meant by connecting you? Since the rest of the connection would be on private property, it would indeed be your responsibility to go ahead and hook up to those service lines from your house.

    Next, water mains are nearly always pressure fed, so its hard to understand why you or the City would need a lift station for a water service, as you say. Sewer lines on the other hand are gravity fed, and my guess is that the sewer line in the street is higher than the elevation of the stub coming out of your home. In that instance you need to install a small lift pump and sump well to lift the sewage so it can gravity flow to the main and on its merry way. That lift pump does not belong to the City, nor are they required to purchase, install or maintain it. It sounds like as a courtesy to you they are trying to find grant money to help you as an individual property owner to cover the costs you will incur.

    Finally, as to the need to hook up to municipal service, this is often dictated by state law and the jurisdiction might simply be trying to comply with that. You might wish to ask them where the requirement to hook up to municipal services arises from.

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