MANHATTAN (KSNT) – There is a small, dead end street in Manhattan that has a big problem.
Some of the houses in the 1700 block of Houston Street are nearing the century mark but the sewer system beneath them has reached that point and possibly more.
And now, one of those lines is leaking.
“They really didn’t have a code office and things like that to enforce (proper building techniques),” said Manhattan City Commissioner Wynn Butler. “Apparently there are six houses that have linked together sewer laterals.”
The laterals, which run from the houses to the main sewer line, started leaking in 2009.
Now, after six years, the city has what it needs to start fixing the line.
A petition, which was signed by four of the seven property owners was rendered invalid by the commission because of a legal issue with a few of the property owners.
The homes on Houston Street are not all owned by local owners, according to mayor Karen McCulloh.
The commission did not vote on allocating money for the project from the Sanitary Sewer Improvement Fund. Instead, all four commissioners voted to have a public hearing on the matter.
That meeting is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2016.
If the city does opt to help fund the project, it would take half, about $85,000, of the total from the improvement fund.
The other half, would be funded by the property owners.
“In most cases, they’re 100 percent the homeowner’s responsibility,” Butler said about who takes care of the cost.
With approximately $85,000 to pay for, property owners on that street could see their yearly taxes jump more than $900 – potentially for the next 20 years.
However, McCulloh said the long-term payments aren’t the only option.
“Although, there are people who chose to pay the whole thing off at the very beginning,” she said. “If they don’t fix it then they probably will find that their houses aren’t salable.”