By Krystal J. Carman
CHELSEA — Although an agreement to provide sewer to an annexed area of land was made two years ago, Chelsea officials still aren’t sure it’s going to happen.
In 1995, 100 acres just south of Chelsea was annexed into the city limits, and an agreement to provide sewer to the property was made in 2004.
That sewer line has yet to be installed, and the property owner wants to know why.
“It was approved, why isn’t it there?” owner of the property George Downs asked the Chelsea Economic Development Authority Monday. “I was told, ‘The minute you make the deposit, we’ll get right on it’.”
Downs said he made the $350 deposit following the approval to provide the sewer in April 2004. CEDA officials said at that time, the cost to run the sewer would be $7,500. That price has nearly doubled since then, and will now cost the city more than $14,000 to install.
That causes concern with some officials.
“I can’t see spending almost $15,000 to run sewer to one house,” board member and Chelsea Trustee Howard Drake said. “If we’re just talking about sewer to one person’s house, then I can’t see that. If there’s a developer coming into town, then we will provide sewer. It’s not that we don’t want to do it. We’re just trying to be practical.”
The issue was brought back to CEDA due to inquiries from companies wanting to develop on that land, according to Downs.
“I have had some people asking me if there is sewer or how they can get it, but I don’t know what to tell them,” Downs said.
Mayor Kenny Weast asked if Downs would have a problem paying for half of the $14,000 to install the sewer.
“I wouldn’t have a problem doing it, but I’m not going to do it,” Downs said. “It’s not my responsibility. The city agreed to do it, and they need to stand up and do it.”
CEDA requires a property owner to be within 300 feet of the city’s sewer line before they will install a tap. Downs’ property is approximately 337 feet from the city’s line, and has said he will meet the city at 300 feet, if they choose to make good on the agreement made in 2004.
CEDA officials agreed to table the issue until the next regular meeting July 10. At that time, Weast said, “On July 10, we will have a final decision. There will be no continuation.”
By Krystal J. Carman