New London to install sanitary sewers
By Scott Bellile
Starlight Drive’s road and public right of way will change hands from the town of Mukwa to the city of New London in the near future.
New London’s reason for taking over the street is it plans to install sanitary sewer laterals in order to serve city residents on Starlight Drive. Several private properties along the street have annexed into New London in the past.
The city will additionally lay the infrastructural groundwork for any Mukwa homes that may choose to annex into New London in the future and would thus require the same service.
All properties along Starlight Drive currently use their own septic systems and wells, including those technically in New London. Everywhere else in the city of New London, residents pay for city-operated sewer and water service. Mukwa does not offer such service.
Starlight Drive runs north to south and connects North Star Court to Klatt Road. Of seven houses along Starlight Drive, three already annexed into New London. The other four are part of Mukwa.
New London’s annexation of Starlight Drive will not directly change those numbers, since the city is only annexing the street and the right of way. It is up to Starlight Drive’s Mukwa residents whether or not to annex their properties into the city.
New London Building Inspector Paul Hanlon is a New London resident living on Starlight Drive. He requested a sewer and water extension because his 29-year-old septic system was not going to pass inspection in 2019.
Property owners on both sides of Starlight Drive will be assessed for the costs of installing a sanitary sewer lateral in the public right of way in front of their home only if they connect to the city’s sewer and water services.
Mukwa residents must first annex into the city before they can connect to the city’s sewer and water services. The city will cover the initial sewer and water installation expense in the meantime.
“None of the property owners are being forced to annex,” Hanlon said. The Mukwa residents can remain part of Mukwa and use their own septic systems and wells as long as they wish.
However, “If they want to have city services, they would need to annex,” New London Public Works Director Jeff Bodoh said.
A property owner who annexes into New London will pay their assessment fee along with a $500 fee to hook up their service to the sanitary sewer lateral beneath the street.
A property owner living in a town immediately outside a city can request to annex into the city if their parcel of land borders the city. The property owner’s request goes through the city clerk’s office, the city planning commission and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.
Wood Sewer and Excavating of New London will install water mains and sewer laterals on Starlight Drive at a total cost of $161,345, as authorized by the New London City Council on April 11. This includes the cost of resurfacing the road after the sewer work is done.
Last week Wood Sewer and Excavating began putting in water mains on Starlight Drive. The company will spend all May doing other projects in New London and return to Starlight Drive in June to install the sewer laterals and resurface the road.
Starlight Drive residents who connect to the city sewer and water by this summer will begin to pay for city sewer and water service.
The city’s annexation of Starlight Drive and the right of way will have minimal impact on New London. The city will gain one more road to maintain and receive “minimal” state road funding as a result of the annexation, Bodoh said. The city will not see its tax base grow because it is only annexing road and right of way.
New London is not paying Mukwa to annex Starlight Drive and its right of way.
Mukwa will benefit from the annexation by having one fewer road to maintain, Bodoh said.