Beiber looks at map for fairview city council

Fairview Mayor Brian Bieber looks at a map with Fairview Council members during the regular session Tuesday.

Residents of the Pominville Subdivision will have until Oct. 1 to rededicate streets back to the city or lose garbage and snow removal as well as other city services to that area.

Council members discussed the area during Monday night’s regular session.

The area was closed in 1953 for agriculture, then subsequently redeveloped without proper street dedications. The lack wasn’t discovered until 2016, and the city has been wrestling with the problem ever since.

Right now, half the street legally belongs to the property owner on the adjacent side. That technically makes the city a trespasser when it conducts services such as garbage pickup, snow removal, street maintenance and water and sewer line maintenance.

City officials have asked the property owners to rededicate the streets back to the city so services may legally continue to be provided there. But rumors that the city will take front yards or lots away has hampered the effort.

A meeting was held to try and explain the situation to the property owners, but most did not attend, council members said during Monday night’s meeting.

Council members discussed options with legal counsel Kaitlynn DeCrescente and decided they would send a final letter to the property owners explaining the situation and give them a deadline of Oct. 1 to either rededicate their street or lose city services.

On other matters, Fairview’s water main project has come in so far under budget that the city will be able to complete an additional five and one-half blocks this year.

City Engineer Ryan Kopp, with Interstate Engineering, was present at the Fairview City Council to provide an update on the project, which is replacing 6,000 feet of water mains on Sixth, Seventh and Western Avenue. The lines are going from 4-inch cast iron to 8-inch PVC.

“We are working on the design (of the additional blocks) now,” Kopp said. “We are just lowering our construction budget and raising our design budget to account for the extra design. It is a no-cost change.”

The change will ultimately lower the Phase 2 project size.

“We are playing with numbers to see what makes the most sense and sets us up best for the future, too,” Kopp said.

Everything is on schedule, and the additional blocks can be completed on time, Kopp added.

The amendment was unanimously approved.

Commissioners also approved directing about $20,000 in funding from the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability fund toward the city’s share of costs to repair Western Avenue near the school, where the road has given out. The total cost to repair the crumbled road is close to $700,000.

Fairview has asked Richland County to help with the project. A memorandum of understanding is being developed to cover the interlocal efforts.

The road’s failure was caused by drainage issues, Kopp indicated. Part of the project will examine what can be done to prevent that from happening again.

“We will bring back a memorandum of understanding in December, work on it this winter, and construct it next year,” Kopp said.

Council members approved an agreement with Kevin Kowatch to split the costs of a survey as well as associated fees to record and transfer a deed for a 9- or 10-foot strip of property Kowatch bought from the city to correct a compliance error.

The strip of land was recorded as 10 feet on a sales receipt issued to Kowatch, and 9 feet in city minutes. Kowatch said he has already put a fence on the 10-foot line based on the sales receipt.

The purchase was deemed necessary several years ago to correct a compliance issue, after a building permit was approved on a nearby property over a property line.

The city moved the property line to fix that issue, but that made a subsequent permit that was issued to Kowatch for improvements out of compliance.

To fix it, Kowatch bought a strip of land from the city, so that he wouldn’t lose the improvements he had made and the property would comply with required setbacks.

In the meantime, county ordinances changed so that it was no longer possible to simply convey the property to Kowatch. It had to be surveyed for a legal description, so that a deed could be recorded, to complete the transaction.

The estimated cost of the survey is $1,800 to $2,200 with Interstate Engineering. Other fees will range from $50 to a few hundred dollars.

On other matters the city:

• Updated its flood plain regulations to comply with new laws. The updates were required to retain eligibility for flood plain insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

• Discussed repair of a sewer line under a street the city doesn’t own. The property owners will be sent a letter explaining the repairs can’t begin until the street has been dedicated back to the city.

• Discussed a change to the interlocal agreement that covers the senior center, which clarifies that Richland County will only pay up to $10,000 in costs on projects that have not first been reviewed and approved by the county commission.

• Reported an opening on the planning board starting Jan. 1. Bruce Benson is retiring. Candidates are being sought for the volunteer position. To qualify, an individual must live in town and be a resident of Fairview.

• Heard a report from the police department on a once every three years audit by the Criminal Justice Information Network. The audit found no discrepancies, Police Chief Cal Seadeek said.

• Discussed the upcoming schedule for budget sessions starting on the next two Thursdays, with the final hearing Sept. 5.

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