At Monday’s meeting, the Chestertown Town Council approved an amendment to Ordinance 164 that will transfer the responsibility of replacing failing private water and sewer lines from the curb to the main in Chestertown to the Chestertown Utility Commission.
The effective date of the ordinance is set for June 5th, 2023.
According to Town Utilities Manager Bob Sipes, replacing private lateral lines from the curb to the main can cost up to $19,000 if done by a private plumbing contractor. Under the new ordinance, the town would subsidize the project, charging the homeowner no more than $1,500, with costs not to exceed $60,000
Additionally, Mayor Foster addressed Sipes’ request for additional equipment before enacting the ordinance. Sipes said he would need additional equipment, such as a backing trailer, cameras, and a sewer jetter, to perform the job. He estimated the equipment cost to be $50,000. Mayor Foster suggested obtaining three quotes for the equipment before making a decision.
The equipment would provide 24/7 access and expedite emergency cleanups.
Mr. Sipes aired concern about how homeowners would interpret the ordinance as far as addressing work other than fixing the lateral line. He cited an example of a homeowner’s request to move an undamaged lateral line on the homeowner’s property, work that would fall outside the ordinance’s responsibility.
The ordinance amendment and request for equipment passed.