BOONE, Iowa—The Boone City Council’s Utility Committee met Monday evening to talk about a rash of claims about individual sewer service lines either breaking down or collapsing, especially in the northeast part of the city. The matter then moved from the Committee meeting to the full Council meeting, but the Council has not made any final decisions about providing some assistance or being involved in any of the repairs.
Most of the issues apparently began when the City had the sewer mains lined last summer. Some residents were notified that there were specific problems with their connections to the sewer main. Some funds had been budgeted to do a repair, but the number of problems exceeded the funds available. At the time, the Utility Committee members noted that city code specifically says the property owner is responsible for maintaining their sewer line, including the connection to the city main.
The Council now is faced with several additional properties that are dealing with sanitary sewer problems. During the Council meeting, several property owners were on hand. They are currently facing repairs estimated to be between $10,000 and $15,000. Several of the identified homes are in about a five-block radius on the northeast side of the city. Officials expect to be on hand for some of the work that will be done Tuesday to see if there was a problem with the sewer lining or if there is evidence of any other issues.
Meanwhile, the Council has received the recommendation of the Utility Committee to follow the ordinance and continue to have the property owners responsible for their repairs. Mayor John Slight has also asked city staff to investigate if there’s a possibilty of the City assisting in some manner. City Administrator Luke Nelson told the Council he would visit with City Attorney Jim Robbins and review some possible alternatives. A response is expected at the next Council meeting on June 2nd.
In the meantime, several property owners need to move forward with repairs on their sewer lines. The Utility Committee and the Council have all agreed that if any plan for assistance is made available, they would all qualify for the plan.