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home : news : news Tuesday, May 24, 2016

6/12/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
DeWitt council ponders sewer dilemma

By Mary Rueter
Managing editor

In the absence of council members Dawn Marcus and Steve Hasenmiller, the DeWitt City Council discussed but took no action Monday, June 3, on an issue that dates back to 2008 regarding sanitary and water service to two parcels of land located at 221 East Second St.

The city code requires the two parcels be served by separate utilities or legally combined into one property.

Mike Eckhart, in partnership with Dave McAleer, formerly owned one of the parcels, which he recently sold to Bill McGimpsey, doing business as New Diggins.

In the fall of 2011, the city became aware the McAleer-Eckhart partnership had ended and the property had been divided between the then separate owners. The action was illegal since the utilities were not separated, city administrator Steve Lindner explained.

In the spring of 2012, the city learned Eckhart was planning to sell his portion to McGimpsey and notified the buyer, seller, attorneys involved, county recorder and the lender the property did not meet the requirements (separation of utilities) for the sale. Nevertheless, the sale took place in May 2012.

No efforts have been made to rectify the problem, Lindner said, and McGimpsey has received notice he will be fined daily, beginning June 17, for each day he is in non-compliance.

Monday, Eckhart, who said he has an agreement with McGimpsey to foot the bill should any problems arise from the combined sewers, asked the council to approve lowering the sewer on Second Street by 2 feet to make it more feasible for him to run a separate lateral.

Eckhart argued there is not enough usage of water and sewer facilities (a $30 monthly utility bill) on the property to justify the cost of fixing the utilities, and natural gravity flow is not sufficient at the current level of the sewer.

Matt Proctor, director of public works, suggested installing a pump to carry the sewage part way and then let gravity carry it the remainder of the way.

The council requested Eckhart put together a proposal for remedying the situation to be considered at the next council meeting.

Other business

In other business Monday, the council:

•Approved the release of a lien on lot 2 in Hickory Bend Third Addition. The releases are being approved as lots are sold in the subdivision.

•Approved the release of a forgivable loan for Chris and Kelly Lawrence. The couple participated in the city's 2003 housing rehabilitation program and have completed all the terms of the forgivable loan agreement.

•Approved a loan subordination agreement for Jason McGarry to enable him to refinance his mortgage at a lower rate. McGarry received a forgivable loan from the city's down payment assistance program, which has been depreciated according to the terms of the original agreement. The city's loan takes second place behind his new mortgage holder.

•Gave second readings to five ordinances that amend insurance requirements for excavations, trimming trees in the right-of-way, demolishing buildings, moving houses and other structures and plumbing when excavating.

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