Beware of a sewer 'fiasco'
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:08 PM
Beware, citizens of Oak Harbor. The Dillards Addition sewer fiasco is not just about an uninformed neighborhood. This is about how the city, under current management, does business.
Scenic Heights is years into the process of sewer building; they havent even broken ground yet. They have had meetings and discussions and citizens have had an opportunity to put their two cents in regarding what they need, and what they want. Painstaking processes, yes, unhappy residents, yes, but let me tell you about the alternative.
Imagine waking up one morning to a backhoe, and a looming $20,000 bill. Not an assessment paid over 20 years time. Find yourself writing a $12,000 check, and maybe paying the rest over an unspecified (now 15-year) amount of time. A $12,000 out-of-pocket price tag at least (many will pay more) for a cheap, quick, alternative system, necessary only for the million dollar home being constructed down the street.
Now, realize, we had no say in the matter. There were no public meetings where the city council or city staff could hear our dissent. There was no discussion, no information disseminated to the affected residents. There were no, big yellow Public Notice signs. Nothing. Just backhoes in front of my house, and the city telling me I was required to write a $12,000 check to hook up immediately. Hook up to a system inferior to my own, currently working system, with absolutely no options.
Why a $12,000 check as opposed to an assessment paid over 20 years? The city is requiring me to purchase a personal lift station, wire it, plumb it, install it on my personal property, out of pocket, and then to add insult to injury, replace it every 10 or so years. So, not only are they not providing me with a real sewer system, operated and maintained by the city (like every other citizen is afforded), they are requiring me to actually provide the system and then, on top of that, pay them bi-monthly for this service.
Out of one side of their mouth, I am told I am not capable of maintaining my current, viable system, while from the other side of their mouth I am being told that I need to install and maintain a system far more complex and technically difficult to care for than what I have now.
So, watch out. I do not know what the council or the mayor is going to do about this absolute miscarriage of justice, but I do know that what happens here will be an insightful analysis into who is looking out for whom on our city council and in the mayors office. Please, take notice now; you just might be the next citizen required to write a $12,000 check.