Village Board settles dispute over sewer-line mistake

T he village board of trustees resolved a nearly three year dispute with local resident Dave Waters, who had to complete work to his mother’s Potter Street home after the village inadvertently cut off the sewer line to her home.

The board agreed to pay Waters $792.98 in restitution for repairs Waters completed at the home as a result of work done by the village. 

Waters attended the Oct. 4 board of trustees meeting and asked the village to look into the work. He said he had approached the previous two village boards and had yet to receive any resolution on the matter.

Mayor Peter Telisky promised Waters to look into it and the board decided during Tuesday’s meeting to reimburse Waters for the work he completed.

The dispute stems from a 2008 incident in which the village cut off the sewer line to a Potter Street home owned by Waters mother (the property is now owned by Waters).

According to trustee Ken Bartholomew, there were two lines in the home, one of which was a floor drain and another was the sewer drain. During work on the laterals that run to homes on the street, workers became confused and hooked the floor drain to the sewer, leaving the actual sewage from the home to drain into the ground in front of the home.

Waters, relying on information from village employees, the proceeded to replumb the home in a manner that corresponded to the way in which the village had hooked up the new lines, which unbeknownst to everyone at the time, was the incorrect way.

Shortly thereafter, Waters began to experience problems with the sewage, as it would back up at the end of the line because it wasn’t actually hooked into the village sewer system.

Once the problem was discovered, the village switched the lines, correcting their mistake, but Waters had to reverse the work he had already done.

He contended that if the village had done the job properly the first time and relayed the correct information to him, he wouldn’t have had to do the job twice, an assertion Bartholomew supported.

Waters had initially asked for more than $792.98, but the estimate had come down in his most recent request.

The board unanimously approved a motion to award restitution to Waters.

In other matters, the board made several budget amendments included the allocation of funds the village received as a result of scraping an old water line.

Several months ago the village was notified they were sitting on a large amount of old water main line which was outdated and not being used.

Since that time, village employees have spent time scarping the pipe, receiving nearly $70,000 to date.

The decision was made to use the money to make improvements and repairs to various departments within the village.

For instance some of the money was used to purchase new equipment for the police department while other money was used to begin making repairs to the village garage.

“The departments are doing better because of it,” Bartholomew said.

Although there is believed to be several thousand dollars of pipe left, most has been scrapped.

“It was a one-time find. Once it’s done, it’s done,” Telisky said. “Hopefully the village will be a better place when we’re done,” referring to improvement the money has allowed them to complete.

The village is also going to use money allocated for the trimming of trees to replace various sections of sidewalk throughout the village that may have been damaged over the last several years. That work is expected to begin in the next few weeks after the village has compiled a list of places where repairs are needed.

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