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SV to pay for easement

SPRING VALLEY — Spring Valley will end up spending $50,000 for a permanent easement agreement with Hawkeye Land Co. in order to build an access road to the west sewer interceptor, located just west of the Route 89 bridge.

After the city council authorized this easement at its last meeting, Superintendent of Public Works John Schultz was able to locate documentation of land agreements the city had for various sites where sewers crossed under the railroad tracks. The located documentation, however, did not include an agreement for the west sewer interceptor location.

“We went from looking like we had an easement on one of five crossings, to having either an easement or license on four of five crossings,” explained city attorney James Andreoni at Monday’s council meeting.

Andreoni said he tried to negotiate with a representative from Hawkeye Land Co. to see if he would consider reducing the price for the one easement, since the city was able to come up with documentation that proved they had agreements with four of the five crossings.

“He made it clear to me that they want $50,000 for the roadway, and they were not going to budge on that figure. It wasn’t going to make a difference to them whether we came with proof that we had agreements with other crossings,” he said. “We are probably now in a situation where, as much as we don’t like the idea of spending $50,000 for the easement for the access road, we really don’t have any other viable way to clean out that sewer.”

At the last council meeting, Andreoni had expressed concerns with Hawkeye Land Co.’s use of language in their proposed easement agreement. Andreoni called it “unacceptable” how it was stated Hawkeye Land Co. would be able to deny for no reason any future plans of the city’s in regards to changing the size of the sewer, if needed.

Andreoni was able to negotiate changing the language for the final draft of the agreement. It now states the city will still need to get permission from Hawkeye Land Co. if they were going to change the size of the sewer that runs underneath the railroad tracks, however, Hawkeye Land Co. could not unreasonably deny the project plan.

“Legally they would need a good reason to say no, not just no, we don’t feel like granting permission,” Andreoni explained. “They would have to show us there was some danger to the tracks, and obviously we wouldn’t be asking for it if it was endangering the tracks.”

The easement agreement’s language, however, only covers changing the size of the sewer. If for some reason, in the future, the city wanted to change the size of the access road, Hawkeye Land Co. could deny the request with no reason.

The city council on Monday unanimously approved the final draft of the land easement at a cost of $50,000.

In other news, the board:

• Did not approve an ordinance that would have raised the salary of the fire chief to $2,400 per year and the compensation to members of the volunteer fire department that would have been based upon a point system allocation. The allocated point system would have been paid out of a reimbursement pool in the amount of $22,000 appropriated by the city each year. Aldermen Michael Herrmann, Dan McFadden and Dave Pellegrini voted in favor of the ordinance, and Aldermen Chuck Hansen, Tom Nesti, Jack Narczewski and Mark Actis voted against it. Alderman James Taliano was not present. There was no discussion held after the vote.

• Approved the Spring Valley Lions Club Halloween parade to be at 1 p.m. Oct. 26.

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