Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, March 19, 2001

Waverly propery owner refuses to hook into sewer system

By Lynda Jensen

The sewer system at 902 Pacific Avenue was again the focus of the Waverly City Council meeting Tuesday.

Property owner Edith Ouverson gave her final answer to the city after years of wrangling over the issue: "no."

"You can't guarantee me a price and I don't have to hook up," she said, referring to the cost of a special assessment and a loophole that she perceived in the city books.

The city's ordinances do not require someone who is more than 150 feet away from a sewer line to connect to the city system, Ouverson said.

"Are you going to back out of the agreement?" asked Mayor Charles Bush. "Is that what you're saying?"

Ouverson objected to the costs of what was supposed to be her cheapest option, that being to connect to city pipelines during the Highway 12 work.

The city gave an estimate of $54,000 to Ouverson for a special assessment to be done during the Highway 12 work. The city offered to allow her to pay for it in a low-interest, 20-year loan.

Ouverson's lawyer advised her not to enter the agreement, she said, because of a clause that meant she would be billed for any costs over the estimate.

The wording for special assessments are all the same, said Mayor Charles Bush.

"You can't nail down a figure," Bush said. The property owner is naturally expected to pick up any unexpected costs since the city doesn't own the property in the first place, he said.

MnDOT will not accept any more change orders after this week, said City Engineer Brad DeWolf.

Bush warned Ouverson that she will be shut down.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued a warning to Ouverson last fall to bring the property's sewer into compliance.

Earlier, Ouverson's attorney indicated that she was willing to cooperate.

There is not enough room on that property to install a private septic, said planning and zoning officer Adrian Duske.

Ouverson's final answer foregoes this option for good, which was supposed to be the cheapest one to connect to city pipework.

The city referred the matter to its attorney.

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