CITY OF PRINCETON: City Plans to Crack Down on Illegal Sump Pump Hookups
City of Princeton issued the following announcement on June 6.
The Princeton City Council is amending the city’s sewer code in hopes of relieving ongoing water issues during heavy rainfalls.
The first amendment will officially note that it is forbidden to discharge water from a sump pump onto a neighbor’s property.
“This is pretty common sense, but we need to address that,” Mayor Joel Quiram said during Monday’s council meeting.
The second change puts teeth into a rule regarding illegal hookups of sump pumps to the city’s sanitary sewer.
The city will give residents until March 1, 2020, to address any illegal hookups, and after that deadline will start writing fines to those who do not comply.
“We’ve addressed this in the past, and it hasn’t really gotten us anywhere,” Quiram said. “We are serious about this, so we’re adding a fine.”
Residents will be fined $50 and given a 30-day notice to comply.
If the issue is not taken care of in that time period, the city will tack on an additional $100 fine.
“This will go on in $50 increments until the state statute maximum penalty of $750 is attained,” Quiram said.
Residents who comply before March can contact the city for verification and be approved for a $100 credit on their utility bill.
“We think this will really go a long way in helping to assist in disconnecting these illegal hookups and will make a significant difference,” Quiram said
He explained how illegal hookups are adding “incredible amounts” of water to the city’s sanitary system during heavy rains. While the city is making headway on updating its aging underground sewer lines, the illegal hookups are another issue that’s adding to the problems during heavy rains.
If residents are unsure about their hookups, they can contact city hall and a crew member from the city will come out to verify whether it is legal.
The council unanimously voted on Monday in favor of these changes. A final vote regarding these amendments is expected during the council’s next meeting on Monday, June 17.
Amending the liquor code
The council on Monday approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that allows amendments to the city’s liquor code.
The changes allow establishments that serve alcohol to offer sidewalk seating, and gives the approval for restaurants to serve alcohol earlier on the weekends.
Any establishment with 50 percent or more of their gross receipts being food sales can begin to serve alcohol as early as 6 a.m. on weekends. Other establishments cannot begin selling alcohol until 11 a.m. on weekends.
There is a state law that prevents alcohol purchases before 11 a.m. on Sundays, which will override the city’s code on that day.
The council voted 3-1 on this ordinance, with Hector Gomez being the lone “no” vote. Gomez had expressed concerns about sidewalk seating taking up too much room for handicapped people or families with small children and strollers.
Council plans to issue bonds
The council on Monday held a bond hearing for the issuance of $2.8 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of refinancing outstanding obligations related to the Industrial Park, north of Interstate 80, and $400,000 in sewerage revenue bonds to help cover a portion of the upcoming sewer improvement project this summer.
The project involves rebuilding sewer lines between Central Avenue and Clark Street. No written comments were submitted, and no public comment was given during the hearing.
Reappointments to library board
The council approved the reappointments of Jan English and Drew Russell to the Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees, both for three-year terms expiring on June 30, 2022.
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