The cities of Oakdale and Lake Elmo will be working together to extend public sanitary sewer to residents with only individual systems.
Twenty-four properties between the two cities have individual sewage treatment systems, but they all might join public systems.
At its Feb. 26 council meeting, the Oakdale city council accepted a call for a public improvements hearing and an assessment hearing.
The discussion came before the city council after two Oakdale property owners petitioned for a public sanitary sewer system since their individual systems are deteriorating and difficult to replace.
The city conducted a report that looked at feasible and cost-effective ways to provide public sanitary sewage to not only the two requesting properties, but to all 24 properties with individual systems in Oakdale and Lake Elmo as a larger-scope project.
The project is broken into two phases, with Phase One taking care of the two Oakdale properties and four Lake Elmo properties this summer. Phase Two would take care of the remaining 18 properties (seven in Oakdale and 11 in Lake Elmo).
Phase One would extend the sewer by 550. Phase Two would extend it by another 1,700 feet toward 50th Street.
Assessments will factor in all 24 properties so that the assessments are balanced among the properties, said City Engineer Brian Bachmeier.
"We didn't want to do the first phase and have these first properties pay substantially more. We wanted to make sure they were fair and uniform," Bachmeier said.
Bachmeier said the city looked at the whole project and divided it by the total number of properties in both Oakdale and Lake Elmo.
The cost of Phase One is $128,000 and the estimated assessment for all 24 properties is $18,500. The estimated assessment multiplied by the six properties in Phase One equals approximately $111,000 in assessments for Phase One. Both Oakdale and Lake Elmo will cover the remaining $17,000 of the total project ($128,000) for Phase One and will recover the money during Phase Two of the project.
Bachmeier added that Washington County plans to redo the Olson Lake Trail road within two to five years, which means the remaining 18 properties of Phase Two will need to decide if they want to be apart of the project before then.
"If we don't do Phase Two by the time the county does the street project then it will cost a lot more money to put in a sewer after a new street was done," Bachmeier said.
Bachmeier said at least three of the seven Oakdale property owners of Phase Two would need to sign a petition in order for the work to be done, per state statute.
The public improvement and assessment hearings will be at 7:15 p.m. on March 26 at Oakdale City Hall.