Bills introduced to help WSP homeowners and others deal with sewer costs

When homeowners move, sometimes there can be hidden and unwelcome expenses such as replacing sewer drainage connections.

Minnesota legislators, including Sen. Matt Klein and Rep. Rick Hansen, have introduced bills in the Senate and House to help mitigate those costs.

Klein said a number of individual homeowners in West St. Paul go to sell their homes and find they are required by law to update their sewage drainage into the main, public line.

Because the systems in the city are aging, there’s leakage in the connections that needs to be taken care of.

“Homeowners, when they sell, are required to fix it and they can get hit with a surprise cost,” Klein said, pointing out it can be upwards of $5,000 to $7,000 in West St. Paul for the repair.

Hansen said there are two bills that aim to take care of the problem. One uses bonding as capital investment dollars that improve the public portion of the lines, giving $10 million to the Metropolitan Council, which would distribute the cash throughout the metro area. The other supports grants to help pay the private costs of homeowners.

West St. Paul Mayor Dave Napier testified at the Capitol in favor of the two bills.

About a decade ago, Napier said the city received money from the Met Council to provide grant funding for individual homeowners.

“It was really well received but it went fast,” he said.

Hansen said his bill made it through committee and has been heard in the House. It’s yet to be determined if any of it will be included in Gov. Tim Walz’s bonding proposal, which will be finalized later on in the legislative session.

 

–Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com.

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