Sewer customers want Lancaster to unhook them

August 03, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

LANCASTER - The Prathers' house is hooked up to city sewerage, but they would have just as soon stuck to their septic tank than been stuck with the $3,000 bill.

Five houses on Danville Street were tapped into city sewerage in July. Owners signed easements for the city to put in the sewer line in front of their property and received letters from the city about the costs.

There are now only 10 houses inside the city limits that don't have city sewerage.

When Rodney Johnston had problems with his septic system, the county health department approached the city about extending the lines to his house, said Millard Rose, Lancaster's interim utilities manager.

City ordinance requires that all homes within 100 feet of a sewer line be connected to city sewerage. Once Johnston was hooked on, then his neighbor would have been within 100 feet and then the next neighbor until all five houses would have had to connect, Rose said.


City Council voted to construct the sewerage, and Mayor Billy Moss said it was less expensive to do all of the houses at the same time.

The Prathers said they want to be unhooked.

Jane Prather said that they had no problems with their 10-year-old septic tank and that city sewerage just meant higher water bills for them.

The Prathers said they didn't mind paying the $500 tap-on fee but didn't want to pay the $2,500, their share of the cost of the sewer line.

Moss listened to the couple, but then said, "I'm at a loss for anything else to say."

He told them that city sewerage would improve their property value, and that with the way the city had done it, the cost was lower. He told them the health department would have required them to tie into the line.

Jane Prather told the mayor that the city hadn't even fixed the line right because she still had wash water running in her ditch.

Rose said they'd be back shortly to fix it.

Sewerage "is for the betterment of the community," said Councilwoman Cecelia Adams.

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