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Board gives village assessment powers over voluntary water project

Construction bids expected by end of March

Feb. 8, 2013

Bayside - The Bayside Village Board on Feb. 7 approved special assessment powers over Bayside residents who volunteered to participate in a water infrastructure project.

Over the past year and a half, Bayside resident Howard Feiges helped steer a grass-roots effort to bring municipal water via the city of Mequon Water Utility to several areas currently served by shared wells. Bayside, the city of Mequon and the Bayside Residential Water Access Association are working together to create municipal water for residents located in four water trusts in the southwest portion of the village.

The cost to construct the infrastructure and hookups to municipal water will fall on the property owners who are choosing to connect to it. As of Feb. 7, the village of Bayside will be the controlling entity in assessing residents.

More than 100 residents have volunteered to participate. These properties are located in an area bounded by Fairy Chasm, Port Washington, Regent and Brown Deer roads.

"We had an area in a village that have water trusts and some infrastructure needs and they are old systems and it made sense to put water in instead of spending money on a well system, so when the people approached the board about getting water, we were very much supportive of their voluntary effort to do that," said Village Trustee Mike Barth, who has been active in supporting this effort. "They really got together as a neighborhood."

The board is able to help BRWAA obtain a municipal bond, which Barth said will hopefully be at a better interest rate. They also found a bond that obligates participating residents to pay for it, but does not hold the rest of the village accountable.

"They are secured by the people willing to pay," Barth said. "It's great that we are able to help them. They don't have to get a home equity (loan) and payments are affordable."

The city of Mequon advertise for bids the week of March 11. Final bids are expected back by the end of March, "giving enough time to size the bond correctly," Village Manager Andy Pederson said. The sizing of the bond will be completed around April 1.

The Village Board will consider the sale of the bond at the April 18 meeting, based on the lowest bidder. Before any work can begin, any home currently along the selected route in the BRWAA-Indian Hills area can still elect to join the project. The more residents involved will help to reduce the overall assessment price per home, Pederson said. Those homes will only be eligible for 24-year financing based upon the following: choose to participate by April 1; be included in the notice of intent to levy assessments; property owner signs an assessment waiver and consent; assessment report is updated to reflect revisions (adding new lateral costs and property to be assessed); and, new final assessment adopted at the sale of the bonds setting forth new assessment amount.

Pederson said individuals wishing to connect to water as part of this project after the sale of bonds could choose to do so, but would be required to pay the final assessment amount in full at the conclusion of the project.

Estimated assessment costs have been released, which are based on the highest construction estimate, Barth said. Costs are expected to come in lower; however. For the southwest neighborhood, the estimated assessment would be $632 per year until 2020, plus interest.

The Ravine Bay Road properties estimated assessment is $474 per year, plus interest.

"It's great the village could help out with the financing, but it's not obligating the rest of the village," Barth said. "I don't live in the area and it's not costing me anything. They are paying their own share of the cost. We are just able to help facilitate the financing so it's an easier process."

Construction is anticipated to start in May. It is expected that the public work for each of the four areas will be completed within 90 days of the start of work, with completion expected in late September, early October, Pederson said.

For more information on the voluntary water project, visit bayside-wi.gov.

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