Kingman council flushes proposed sewer changes

Christmas was in the air at the final City Council meeting of the year Tuesday. Council Chambers was decorated, Vice Mayor Mark Wimpee and Councilman Mark Abram wore nearly matching red shirts and Councilman Larry Carver adorned his head with a Christmas cap.  (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

Christmas was in the air at the final City Council meeting of the year Tuesday. Council Chambers was decorated, Vice Mayor Mark Wimpee and Councilman Mark Abram wore nearly matching red shirts and Councilman Larry Carver adorned his head with a Christmas cap. (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

KINGMAN - Proposed amendments to Kingman's sewer regulations wouldn't get more people to connect to the city's wastewater system, City Council members decided Tuesday in rejecting the proposals.

Hooking up more households was the goal members of the Municipal Utilities Commission had in mind when it asked the Council to cut the 500-foot rule in half and extend the time period residents - and only residents - can get a waiver or a discount to join the system.

City Engineer Greg Henry said the typical fee to connect to the system - not counting the cost to bring the pipe from the street to the home - is about $1,500.

The fee is waived for people who connect within one year of a septic tank failure.

The Municipal Utilities Commission voted unanimously at a recent meeting to offer a 50 percent discount the second year and a 25 percent discount the third year.

"The idea was to get more people connected sooner rather than later," said Henry. "In my opinion, this would allow people to delay [connecting to sewer] because they're wanting to get more out of their septic tank."

Henry also said experience has taught him that most people won't connect until they "absolutely have to" after a septic tank failure.

Vice Mayor Mark Wimpee agreed with Henry. He said limiting the waiver to one year provides "the biggest benefit to the entire community."

The city has been aggressive in its efforts to increase the number of sewer customers because more customers will eventually reduce the monthly fees paid by current customers.

The second ordinance called for the city abandoning the distance sewer must be from a residence before the owner must connect to the system.

The current distance is 500 feet. The Municipal Utilities Commission wanted to cut it in half. Again, Henry opposed the amendment, saying it would not induce people to hook in sooner.

The Council voted 7-0 to reject both measures.