The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 16, 2014

City considers upsizing storm sewer capacity

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — Residential development is a key component to the fortitude of Camanche, according to city leaders so they are taking the steps necessary to keep it an appealing location for future investors.

To do so, those leaders are looking to up size storm sewers in a subdivision that is currently being developed and offers opportunities in the future.

Currently the area where the city is looking to increase the sewer capacity has already been approved for a subdivision for local contractor Bob Edens, but City Administrator Tom Roth felt in order to utilize the area to its full potential, they need to look at the storm sewer expansion.

“Bob can’t be expected to pay for anymore than his project needs,” Roth said. “But we need to look at servicing the other properties that would need to up size eventually.”

While formal action wasn’t taken during the City Council meeting Tuesday, everyone did agree that something needed to be done to ensure the area had longevity for residential opportunities.

With everyone in agreement, Roth gave Edens’ and his engineer, Jennifer Paisley with Ament Design, the go-ahead to research piping and labor costs to upsize the sewer lines. It was estimated the project cost would range between $40,000 and $70,000.

“If it’s not done now, I think down the road the cost will be so large to do that it’ll actually probably never get done,” Edens said.

The process of re-sizing the storm sewers has been a subject of discussion for several years now, but lack of developers in the area put it on the back burner.

Now that it has become a prime location for residential properties, Roth felt it is time to revisit and proceed with a project.

Once that conversation begins to gain steam, Roth expected they would need to look at ways to reimburse themselves for the initial costs.

One suggestion he had was to create an easement for anyone looking to develop a subdivision that would require them to pay the city for the use of the stormsewer system, a suggestion city attorney Tom Lonergan agreed with.

“If we upsize it through (Edens’) subdivision we pay the difference in the cost, then if somebody comes in with a subdivision they can then hook up to it but they have to pay their fair share of that piece of the pie,” Lonergan said.

For that process to unfold, the city still needs to upfront the cost for the stormsewer up sizing, which Roth gave another suggestion for.

His theory was to borrow funding from a significant balance in the city’s sewer fund and then draw up a loan agreement that said when those monies were generated from future developers, it would be returned to the sewer fund in full.

“That’s the way I would deal with it,” he added.

Amy Kent can be reached at amykent@clintonherald.com.