Paddock Lake holds hearing on special assessments for Highway 50 water main

The yellow line shows the properties subject to the Highway 50 water main special assessment. (Click for larger view)

Paddock Lake hosted a public hearing Wednesday on special assessments to pay for its Highway 50 water main project.

The hearing was held at Central High School in the cafetorium in order to facilitate social distancing. There were about 15 people in the audience.

The project has brought a 12-inch water main and fire hydrants to properties fronting Highway 50. The new main connects wells on the far west side of the village with the existing water system that serves mostly residences on the east side of the village.

Village officials say those properties along Highway 50 will benefit from “clean, safe drinking water and better fire protection.”

Before connecting to the water system, properties in the project area have had water from private wells.

Properties adjacent to Highway 50 will be required to connect to the water system within a year of getting notice, said village administrator Tim Popanda. Besides the special assessment, those property owners will be responsible for paying for the connection between the main and their building. Once connected, those properties will be assessed a quarterly water bill, based on usage as measured by a meter installed by the village.

Five members of the public, all property owners subject to the special assessment, spoke at the hearing.

Mindy Cooling, an insurance agent whose office is located in a building on Highway 50, asked why sewer charges were not being adjusted now that water usage will be metered.

“”I feel there should be an adjustment based on the amount of water going into the sewer,” Cooling said.

Popanda said there could be an adjustment in the formula for buildings with multiple units after water usage data is known.

Cooling and a couple other property owners said they are having difficulty finding a company willing to perform the directional boring needed for installing a service line to connect the buildings to the main.

“This is of no benefit to me whatsoever,” said Mike Marzec, whose property is used as a residence.

Former village Trustee Patricia Warner said the assessment will seriously impact her and her husband’s income in retirement. Their home is in the assessment area. But she said she also is concerned about the burden the assessment will have on local small businesses already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The businesses are struggling, and then you hit them all with this,” Warner said. “I hope you consider there is a pandemic and they are struggling. In my opinion, you’re bankrupting this town.”

The village will offer the option of paying the special assessment over 20 years at an interest rate of 2.875. Village President Terry Burns said in recognation of the economic impact of the pandemic, the term was lengthened and the interest rate decreased from an earlier proposal.

The largest special assessment of $220,185 is to Kenosha County related to the frontage for Old Settlers County Park. The next largest special assessment of $146,711 is to Central High School-District of Westosha.

The Village Board will consider final action on the special assessment at the September regular board meeting.

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