Officials: Sewer line will not aid new growth | SteamboatToday.com

Officials: Sewer line will not aid new growth

Avi Salzman

— A sewer line that may be extended out to the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp will not open the door to future development in that area, city officials said Monday.

If the City Council votes tonight to allow the school district to tap into a sewer line already approved in concept for Perry-Mansfield, the city will make sure the city sewer line does not service other new developments in that direction, said City Manager Paul Hughes.

In 1999, Perry-Mansfield, which was relying on an outdated septic system to deal with sewage, asked to tap into the city’s sewer system through a line the camp would build.

The city decided to allow the tap with the stipulation that no other group would be able to tap in after the camp builds its sewer line. Some residents in the Strawberry Park area were concerned an available sewer line could spur growth there as new developers hooked up to the city’s line rather than going to the trouble of installing septic systems. The city took those concerns into account by strictly limiting the use of the line.

But because Perry-Mansfield will have to cross Steamboat School District property with its sewer line, the district wanted to have permission to tap in, too. The district asked for an amendment to allow them to tap in later on in return for an easement that would allow the camp to run the line across district property, said Rick Denney, the district’s facilities director.

The county has already approved the amendment to the agreement to allow the district to tap in.

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Future councils and county commissioners could ostensibly approve further hook-ups to the sewer line for new subdivisions if they amended the agreement, but that would be an unlikely scenario, Hughes said.

“The feeling is that there are enough safeguards that development beyond the school would never happen,” Hughes said.

The sewer line issue has been discussed for about two years since Perry-Mansfield realized its septic system was out of date and environmentally unsound. The camp has been able to replace the major septic problems but still wants to have the environmental security of tapping into the sewer line, said Director Jane Lindenmayer. The camp is now attempting to raise $5 million to pay for capital improvements at its campus, including the sewer line it will need to build to tap into the city’s sewer system, she said.