Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Prior to the Monday City Council meeting, the Havre City Council Water and Sewer Committee met to hear public comment on the recent proposed rate increase for storm sewer users. Director of Public Works Dave Peterson said the proposed increase would be about $29 a year for property owners with homes about 10,000 square feet. Storm sewer fees were sent out to all people who benefit from the use of the storm sewer system,” Peterson said. “Everyone received a copy of what the storm sewer charges are going to be.” Several community members spoke about the rate increase, some saying they felt they were unfairly included in who benefits from the storm sewer system. “I get water flowing down there every year,” said John Dritshulas, a Havreite with several properties on Second Street. “If you charge me another $29 per property I can make no money and that is not right.” “I am here to protest that,” said Ninth Street West resident Roy Petterson. Petterson said that when improvements in Highland Park were done several years ago, the city excluded them from the storm sewer beneficiaries as they had no pavement and no storm sewer. He said he felt he should still be excluded and not have to pay the fees, he added, as the road is still not paved and no storm sewer exists on that road. Peterson said the water in that area drains down through the cemetery and into Highland Park where there is storm sewer drainage. “I think to call Ninth Street West a drain street is imaginat ive,” said Dr. Robert Henderson, charging that his neighbors across the street which is undeveloped land owned by Hill County refuse to help the area’s residents to pave the street and put in storm sewer drainage. “Part of the issue has to do with the county being unwilling to participate,” said Lori Henderson. “I would support the storm system if we could get the water away from the street.” Shawn Holden agreed with the Hendersons, though his Ninth Street West property is not part of the city and he will not be assessed for the storm sewer charges. “The water drains from the cemetery into my valley and that’s where it stays,” Holden said. “I agree also that road does not drain toward Highland Park.” Upon hearing the comments, Havre Mayor Bob Rice told the Ninth Street West residents they had some valid claims and that he and the Public Works Department would investigate their claims further.