Some Troy residents face service line charge
By Roger Morris, Western News Publisher
Some property owners in Troy might find themselves responsible for replacing their water service lines under the city¹s pending $2.6 million water project.
The city council agreed to an option Wednesday night that would locate water meters at the property line so the project wouldn¹t dig up gardens and lawns as happened with the sewer project a few years ago.
The contractor will test the service line between the meter and the structure on the property to determine its condition, said engineer Mike Fraser of Thomas, Dean & Hoskins.
If the line needs replacing and the property owner¹s earnings are under the poverty level, the service line will be replaced at no cost. If the property owner earns more than the poverty level, they will be charged for the replacement.
Fraser told the council the cost could be from $300 to $400 and would be added to the monthly water bill, spread out over time.
Other options have all property owners paying for the cost of replacing the service line, have the meters located in the crawl space or basement of buildings with the city replacing the service lines and a proposal that places meters for two homes side by side and involves disturbing lawns and gardens.
Some of the options had lower construction costs but higher maintenance expenses as well as difficulties for the city. Others were slightly more expensive to construct. All of which results in higher water bills for the city resident.
City water director Dave Norman said he preferred the meters to be in a pit near the property line.
³I like putting the meter in a pit,² he said. ³It¹s easier for us to stay off the homeowners¹ property.²
Council president Laura Schrader agreed.
³I¹d rather not go back into the yards again,² she said. ³It was a royal pain.²
Schrader said the council¹s decision benefits the city residents as a whole and would be the least expensive option for them.
Fraser said there are 550 households in Troy served by the city water service. The average service line is about 30 feet.
Also, Fraser and city employees have narrowed the focus to a couple of properties on the south side for constructing a new city water tank and a new city well as part of the water project.
Fraser said his two choices for the water tank location are a piece of property in the Dillon View subdivision and a piece of land in the Fairview Heights area.
The 180,000-gallon water tank is about 24 feet across so Fraser believes
the city needs a 100-foot by 100-foot piece of land.
For the water well, the engineer is eying some private land not far from the city shop. A piece of property 50 feet by 50 feet is needed for the well, he said.