City Wants Third Party To Weigh In On Pleasant View Ridge Septic

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MTT News Desk's picture
By: 
Cameron Bren

The City of Middleton will require developer Erdman Holdings, Inc. to hire a third party consultant to weigh in on the use of septic tank systems in the proposed Pleasant View Ridge subdivision.  The consultant’s report would influence the city council on whether or not to approve the development.  

The city’s committee of the whole passed along a consultant request for qualifications and proposal to the common council for approval.  At the following plan commission meeting ald. Hans Hilbert (Dist.  7) recommended the request be utilized to obtain proposals from three different firms.  

“It can be quite uncomfortable to ask two people, because then it is one or the other when you are looking at them,”  Hilbert stated.  “Usually when you throw that third in it makes it a lot more comfortable decision.”

The city expects the requested work and assistance could be done for less than $10,000.  An escrow account will be set up between the developer and the city.  

The consultant will have to provide the city with a lengthy list of items including: a rationale for allowing private septic systems, required permitting, description of options for ownership and maintenance responsibilities, assessment of the risks using septic and well systems, a plan for worst case scenario failure, recommended long term maintenance and maintenance regulations, conclusions from studies of similar systems.

The city is also requesting the list include a plan for protecting surface and groundwater and an assessment of the potential risks to the city’s public water system.  Once the consultant is chosen based on the bids provided, the city engineer and planning director will coordinate the work to be done.  

“It seemed as if the council last week, when they talked about the conservation subdivision ordinance, [they] really wanted to have additional information about the septic and well issue,”  city planning director Eileen Kelley said.  “The city will hire someone to look at 12 items we have listed ... we are talking about a reasonable review of the literature, the situation, the permitting, somebody that knows what the ramifications and implications of septic and well are and the safeguards we would need.” 

The request for consultant qualifications and proposals, which the city council approved on Tuesday night of this week, also included a possible second phase.  If the city finds it necessary for a second study based on the findings of the first, a separate negotiation will take place between the city and the developer to arrange this.  

The commission set a public hearing for the use of the escrow funds.  The hearing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:05 p.m. 

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