A Sunshine request involving property on North Grand Street and presented to Holden Mayor Ray Briscoe was reported to the Holden Board of Public Works at it’s monthly meeting Tuesday, Nov. 1 by Water Superintendent, Tony Lerda.
The request, he said, is being handled by the Mayor and City Administrator, Cynthia Freeman, but they wanted the BPW to be aware of it.
The request arose as the landowner had planned to build either duplexes or fourplexes on the property. However, it is believed there may have been a misunderstanding with the purchaser when purchasing the land about the water and sewer system for that specific property.
Lerda continued by telling the Board that every homeowner in Holden has already paid their taxes through bonds for their sewer and water systems. Therefore, since no tax or bond covers the land that was purchased, the new owner will have to be responsible for the costs to facilitate his properties.
He went on to say he had spoken to the landowner and explained this to him and was under the impression the matter was settled. Apparently, though, this wasn’t the case as the landowner is asking for many contracts, documents, public notices, etc. Lerda reiterated the matter is being addressed by the Mayor and City Administrator.
In other business, Lerda provided a PowerPoint presentation regarding the new EPA Lead & Copper rule.
The rule currently states that the water must be tested every three years by DNR and reported. Holden does not have any issues with lead and copper. However, the current federal administration decided that by Oct. 16, 2024, an initial inventory of all pipes on the system must be submitted to DNR, with a detailed plan for lead removal due by Summer/Fall of 2027. This inventory request, he said, is expected to be very detailed.
The first testing under this new rule will be January 2028, meaning all lead and copper will need to be removed from the town. He continued by saying that assuming the replacement cost per house today would be approximately $3,000 and there are approximately 1,000 customers in Holden, a total replacement would be $3 million.
However, that is not all BPW cost because the utility is only responsible for all the lines to the delivery point, which is the main.
This would mean every homeowner would incur the costs themselves from the delivery point into and throughout their homes.
Lerda concluded by saying that this has been a top priority with the current administration through the infrastructure bill, but it is possible that future administrations may make changes. The final rule is being reconsidered and the inventory of all of the pipes by Oct. 16, 2024, is required.
In two other matters, Lerda Board that he would like to start getting bids for a new roof on the water plant. The existing roof was installed in 1992. The Board reached a consensus to move forward with requesting quotes and to place it in newspaper for bidding.
Also, he reported there were a few line breaks this last month. He also reported that the lake was down approximately two feet from lack a rain, though the recent rain did help. He concluded by saying both the water and sewer ARPA application responses were delayed until November.