Last updated: April 28. 2014 4:20PM - 864 Views
By - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com



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Owners of residences annexed by Mount Airy in recent years who haven’t connected to the municipal utility system are scheduled to be discussed during a meeting of the city board of commissioners Thursday afternoon.


The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. in the Municipal Building.


There is concern on the board about some property owners not meeting deadlines for hookups that became mandatory after their neighborhoods were taken in to the city. In 2012, 260 certified letters were mailed to those who had not connected to the water and sewer service as required by city ordinance.


They were given deadlines to have connections made to both utilities by the end of the year.


However, some have not complied, according to figures supplied Monday by Pam Stone, interim city finance director, whose department handles water and sewer operations.


“We have not run the numbers for that recently,” Stone said.


But at last report, in May 2013 when former Finance Director John Overton prepared a follow-up memo from the 2012 letters, 148 locations were identified in the city limits with no water or sewer hookups.


Another 409 active customer accounts were identified in May 2013 as having water service, but not sewer.


“We have not have a lot of response since,” Stone added of the period since the last tally.


The board’s discussion Thursday afternoon will be limited to mandatory water hookups and those who have not connected, based on the agenda for the meeting.


In anticipation of that discussion, commissioners asked that letters sent to individual property owners and related information be assembled, along with the applicable ordinances regulating connections.


The history of the situation dates to July 2007 when the Hollyview Forest and Sandy Level subdivisions were annexed, which were joined by the Cross Creek and Laurel court subdivisions in July 2008. Residents were notified of deadline schedules for the utility connections.


When the letters were mailed in 2012, the target was property owners in all four neighborhoods who had not complied. They were threatened with further action, “including legal action if necessary.”


The holdup in some cases could be financial in nature, which also has surfaced with people who can’t afford to make building repairs to homes so that they meet minimum building codes.


For example, one resident of Burgundy Lane who got one of the letters in the summer of 2012 has said it cost her more than $1,000, just to begin receiving water service. That expense would have been higher had a neighbor not donated the labor, she said. The largest part of the cost was an $800 fee for her residential service tap.


However, city officials have said that the situation with people not hooking up isn’t fair to those who have complied with the regulations.


Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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