Sunday, June 26, 2011

All to pay for sewer lining when home is sold? Outrageous!!

Again, trying to keep everyone up to date, following is the response received from Steve Mandel to the previous correspondence. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that Councilman Mandel continues to put your savings at the core of repairing City of Highland Park infrastructure.  Highlighted below, you'll see that one of Steve's "solutions" to our complaints is that the residents be forced to pay for sewer lining upon sale of their homes.  Pay now, or pay later.  You'll be paying, and, most likely when you're most vulnerable, needing to sell.  And, imagine the impact on our already depressed real estate market.   Friends, neighbors, you've got to speak up, now!
Please remember that for most of us, there is nothing wrong with our sanitary lateral lines -- our plumbers come out and rod them from time to time to remove tree roots.  They don't suggest replacing, repairing, lining, because they know that no liner will ever withstand a tree root -- and, believe me, your plumber would love to tell you that you need an expensive repair, if you really needed it for your household or if your sanitary line was invading a neighbor's property.  That simply isn't the case and I've discussed this with my plumber.
This is an HP infrastructure problem, a matter of how HP storm sewers function and impact on our property and, yes, interface with the sanitary lateral lines.  Councilman Mandel and the rest of City Council need to focus on managing the HP budget to take care of infrastructure issues and not pawn them off on residents who already pay high taxes specifically for such things. 
And, to anticipate Steve's response that everyone won't have to pay for sewer lining, just the homes with "broken" sanitary sewer lines, just remember, the City's definition of broken is whether the line as ever been invaded by tree roots.  In HP, as a Tree City, almost everyone has had tree roots at one time or another.  Open that checkbook! 
June 23, 2011 
Steve Mandel to Debra Rade
Again, the work that was done on the sanitary sewer program was with unprecedented subsidies, a low interest loan provided, and the a negotiated price with one contractor offered to everybody through the fine work of our staff. 
While many other residents through out the city have repaired or had to install brand new sewers on their private property over the past 20 years, none of them had the costs reduced and subsidized as we did in this program. We went the extra mile to help you comply with the law. 
The fact that we could change policies and laws in the future does not mean that old policies were bad or I'll conceived, it just means that we might try a different approach and change the policy.
As you know, I had proposed we change our policy in Ravinia and look for other ways to accomplish our goals... That does not mean that people with broken sewers would not be required to fix them. It could mean they are required to fix them upon sale. It could mean more or less participation from the city....  There could be new technology to change outcomes that could facilitate a change in policy.
The bottom line here Debra is that the city council made the decision they did with the communities best interest in mind and it was not a mistake. Policies and laws have changed quite often over the years but I have never recalled us refunding money for private repairs due to policy change. 
Economics have hurt all of us over the past 3 years and the idea to not stress our residents at this point in time was a change in policy that was generated by the change in Economics. I would be very surprised to see any current or future City Council refund public money to you for work on your private property. As a matter of fact it could be illegal and I would think extremely unlikely.
You can share my words with whomever you wish... As a matter of fact I will probably write about this matter in my blog and send it to the 1000 people on my list for their feedback. I don't fault you for your advocacy but I am troubled by the tone of your past rhetoric and claims of some wrong done to you by our city. 
We will continue on refining our policies and laws to fit the time, technology, and our priorities. Our consideration of our residents individually and as a whole will always be foremost on our minds......  


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