UP To Seek Input On Sanitary Sewer Mains

The city of University Park is planning meetings with property owners regarding how to move forward with the requested abandonment of obsolete sanitary sewer mains along Golf Drive and Turtle Creek Boulevard.

The city installed a new sanitary sewer main along Golf and Haynie Streets from Curtis Park to McFarlin Boulevard in the ‘90s. Public Works Director Jacob Speer said 11 houses are still connected to the old mains, which were installed in the ‘30s.

Two property owners in the 6700 block of Golf expressed an interest to the city in the city abandoning the sanitary sewer easement across their properties. 

“What we came up with speaking specifically to those property owners–there were five properties north or upstream of them that would have to be reconnected to the new line before the city could ever entertain the idea of abandoning the easements across their property,” Speer said.

Per policy, the property owners would be required to compensate the city for the abandonment at 25% of the square foot value of the lot multiplied by the area of the easement. The estimated value of a Golf sewer easement is $29,250 per 60-foot wide lot. 

“The recommendation that (PWAC) came back with was to, first, not limit the discussion to those five properties upstream of where this request came from, but rather to focus on all 11 properties who are still connected to those old lines,” Speer said. “Further, they recommended that we ask kind of an either-or situation–either the property owners bear the cost of relocating their sewer line and reconnecting to the new main and if they do so, their recommendation was the city would then be willing to abandon the sanitary sewer easement across their property at no additional cost or, alternatively, the city could pay the money, basically front the money, to relocate the sewer line to the front, but if we did that, the recommendation was the city should then expect the full reimbursement for the value of that easement in exchange for the abandonment.”

The estimated cost to connect each property to the new line is $20,000-25,000 per home.

City officials plan to meet with affected property owners in some format to present some options to move forward and bring a more detailed plan back before the city council later.

“Staff is going to meet, probably more likely individually, with these property owners because each property is going to be a little bit different. We’ll talk to them about the fact that this line is old, needs to be abandoned, we have an option for a new one, and, really, tell the owner the city’s going to put a deadline on this moving at some point in the future…and then basically present some high-level options for them during that meeting and gauge their interest,” City Manager Robbie Corder. “Once we have a full understanding of the 11 properties and their interest in moving forward, we can develop a policy and a recommendation for coming back to the council for a financial assistance package or a incentive program like the one that PWAC has recommended with the abandonment.”

In other news, the council:

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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