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Residents split on forming SSA for sewers

HOLIDAY HILLS – Holiday Hills residents are split on the possibility of a new sanitary sewer system – at least according to an informal hand poll.

Village officials held a town meeting on the proposed $8.3 million project Tuesday night. About 125 residents showed up to learn about the possibility of connecting village homes to the Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District.

At the end of the meeting, about half the residents raised their hands in support of the village moving forward with the plan, and half raised their hands against.

“We want to gauge the climate of support or nonsupport for this project,” said Village President-elect Mickey Brown, who oversaw the meeting. “If you don’t like it, that’s absolutely fine with us. If you do like it, that’s fine with us, too.”

Under the proposal, residents would pay for the sewers through a special service area, set up to tax only those affected. Residents would pay $1,100 a year for 20 years for the SSA, and then an additional $385 or more a year to belong to the water district.

Officials estimate that 264 households would be included in the plan.

“This is the best idea we came up with, to not put a huge burden at any one time on any of the residents,” Village Attorney James Bateman said.

The fees include an estimated $12,500 per house for private improvements associated with the project, such as disconnecting from the homeowner’s septic tank, Bateman said. The project itself would be $4.8 million, while the private improvement fees would total $3.5 million.

Pam Grant, who owns rental property in the village, said she didn’t believe now was a good time for an extra tax on residents.

“My [septic] system is in good health,” she said. “I’m not interested in pursing this right now. In three years, maybe.”

However, Lisa Peters, who has owned a home in the village for four years, said even though she still had questions, she would like the village to at least continue to create the project plans.

“It’s a good idea,” she said. “The cost, I think, is about average, and I think in the long run it would save us money.”

Brown said village officials next planned to send out surveys to residents and then would act accordingly.

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