Shoreview extending city water to homes currently on wells

Residents initially balk at cost

At its March 19 meeting following a public hearing, the Shoreview City Council passed a resolution making plans to extend the city water system to Dale Courts North and South. 

Dale Courts North and South, 10 homes tucked into two cul-du-sacs north of Highway 96 and not far from City Hall, are not connected to Shoreview’s water supply. All the homes there use private groundwater wells.

At a December meeting, the council passed a resolution establishing a water main extension project that would connect city water to the Dale Courts. 

This followed an informational meeting in November for residents who currently do not have access to city water. After that November meeting, two residents wrote letters in opposition to the water main extension because of the cost, said council member Sue Denkinger at the March council meeting. 

During the public hearing, 10-year Shoreview resident Jerry Weaver said a projected cost for the water main connection north of $200,000, which equals more than $20,000 per lot when assessed 10 ways, alarmed residents. 

Dale Court North resident Bob Walsh said he was charged an assessment for a water main extension decades ago. City Manager Terry Schwerm said residents won’t be charged again if they’ve already paid a water main extension assessment, and lowered cost expectations for residents who would be assessed.

According to Schwerm, assessment costs would not be determined by the project’s cost, and would not exceed more than $6,000 per lot. The assessment is only for the water main, said city engineer Tom Wesolowski, and no assessment is associated with replacement of the roadway, curb or gutter — the water main extension is tied to a planned street project.

There would be a $635.50 source and supply fee charged to each lot, for a total proposed assessment cost to residents of no more than $6,635.50.

The project would extend the water main to Dale Court homes, replace roadways, curbs and gutters, improve storm sewer drainage, and install property line curb stops and hydrants, according to Wesolowski. If connected, residents can keep their wells running for outside spigots and sprinkler systems. 

Mayor Sandy Martin said she supports the proposed project because it would prevent a scenario in which a resident’s well goes bad and they can’t afford to replace it, leaving them without water and the city with the task of tearing up the street again to connect them to city water. 

After hearing the assessment max, Weaver said it “took the air out” of residents’ argument that the project would be too costly for them. 

“We’ll pay that, that’s a pretty fair deal,” he said.

Plans still need to be approved on April 2 to finalize the project, according to Wesolowski. If approved, construction bids open April 26, and another assessment hearing will be held with construction running through the summer. 


 

— Solomon Gustavo

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