Exemption created last year in wake of protests over storm sewer project
When Linden Street was being reconstructed last year, Village of Saukville officials were besieged by residents who said that meeting the mandatory sump pump ordinance would pose a financial hardship.
Many of the older homes in the neighborhood have never had sump systems, but the installation of new sewer lines made the connection a requirement.
In the wake of those objections, trustees crafted waiver procedure exempting qualifying property owners from the sump pump requirement.
Almost a year later, the Village Board approved the first waiver request last week.
James Jackson, 151 W. Linden St., contended installing a sump pump system at his home would be a financial hardship.
Contractors estimated it would cost between $9,000 and $13,000 to install a sump pump at the home, which has an assessed valued of $151,800.
“Not only do I not have that kind of money to spend on that, but I feel that is way too much to spend to satisfy the village ordinance,” Jackson wrote in requesting the waiver.
One of the provisions for gaining a waiver is that a camera document the condition of the sewer lateral, but Public Works Director Ray deBruijn confirmed it is not possible to get the needed video equipment in the sewer lines to determine if clear water is infiltrating the system.
“He has no footing drains, based on photos when the new sanitary laterals were installed, so his options are limited in order to hook up to the storm sewer lateral for his property,” deBruijn said in a report following a site visit.
“He can tear up his basement to put footing drains in or dig up the floor drain and connect four spider lines to a sump crock in the middle of the floor, then run the line out to the lateral.”
Such massive work could be cost-prohibitive, deBruijn said in recommending a waiver be granted.
“Mr. Jackson is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, with the high estimates coming in at nearly 10% of the value of his home,” deBruijn said.
In recommending that the waiver be granted, Trustee Mike Krocka read a precisely worded motion prepared by the village attorney to meet all legal requirements.
After the board unanimously approved the waiver, Jackson was told the exemption is in effect only as long as he owns the property.
Should he ever sell the home, the new owners would have to approach the village for a new waiver, officials said.
Another provision of the waiver is that Jackson sign a document saying he has no recourse against the village if future sewer problems occur.