If you read the Minutes of the December 1, 2009 meeting of the Woodstock City Council, you'll see that resident Elva Shafer, 514 Desmond Drive, showed up to address the Council about newspaper coverage of stormwater management. She wanted to know if her house is one of the 47 houses with pipes that are leaking.
The Minutes do not reflect whether her house is one of them, but wouldn't you think that she would know by now if it is?
Council Minutes reflect a statement by Mayor Sager that a program is currently being organized to accommodate those (homeowners) who cannot afford to fix the leaks. The Minutes state that there is "also" a program that benefits those who sign up for the program early.
Does this mean two programs? Or different levels of "benefits" for homeowners?
This morning's Northwest Herald carries a headline on Page C-1 that reads, "City confirms 47 leaks." The article reports that the leaks are in the sanitary sewer lines that are on private property. "Technically, the leaks are the responsibility of private homeowners." So says the newspaper.
OK, so if the leaks are on private property, why is the City going to chip in on repair costs? Or could the case be that "technically" it's the City that is responsible, since the lines are "sanitary sewer" lines feeding into the City's system and which must be protected by the City.
Mayor Sager apparently told the reporter that the city "would consider financial hardship (of homeowners) and be willing to work out a payment plan for residents." He also supposedly said that the City "would not place liens on the homes of residents unable to pay for the fix."
I'm more than a little concerned about the mayor's hands in the City's checkbook. How can he so readily promise any homeowner financial relief by the City of Woodstock? Won't it actually be a decision of the City Council to grant any financial relief to individual homeowners?
Should the homeowners participate in a cost-sharing deal, or should they be determining whether it's the City that is on the hook for the total cost of stormwater management, even if the pipes are on private property?
What is the status of the class-action lawsuit against the City of Woodstock that was filed after the 2007 flooding?