"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update on the Sewer Ordinance, The Brown Shirts are Coming!

I attended the Sewer Fair Open House on Wednesday, December 12. I could not stay long but I had the opportunity to ask some questions.

First, considering a worst case scenario, what would the approximate cost of a full blown excavation of someones front yard be?

We were told "it could be as much as several thousand dollars."

This, to me, is an under estimate. After talking to a person who used to work in the sewer profession I have learned that it could be as much as ten thousand dollars!

Second, Who would be doing the work?

I believe that we would be able to hire our own contractor. I have been told that some other cities get bids from contractors and a home owner must use the cities hand picked contractor.

Third, Would a homeowner be assessed on their property tax?

Yes. A homeowner could pay it off right away, or pay it off over ten years, with interest of course. Consider this for a moment. You are a senior citizen. You live in an older home. You are on a fixed income. The city says you must replace your sewer line. The cost to you could be as much as an additional one hundred dollars per month on your property tax bill! For ten years! On top of rising property taxes, school levies, and in my case, ten years of paying off a street assessment, where do our elected officials think all of this money is going to come from?

After I had a chance to sit down and read a copy of the proposed ordinance I became angry at some of it's wording. This ordinance is for the purpose of complying to a directive handed down by the Met Council. The Met Council is made of people that have never been elected, but appointed. They have the power to rule over us even more so than any of our elected officials. They can even impose their own levies onto our property taxes!

Now here is the bazaar part! As it is written the building inspector "is authorized to conduct inspections of improved real estate that discharges into the City's sanitary sewer system for the limited purposes of confirming that there is no sump pump or other prohibited discharge of clear water drainage."

The inspector will notify a property owner by a written notice and will be required to allow, within thirty days, access to the inspector. The inspector shall also be granted "emergency access" any time when there may be an actual instance of danger to the public health or safety. How any ones sewer line would cause such an occasion is beyond my imagination!

"Application for a Search Warrant. If a property owner refuses to allow an inspection, the City may apply to the district court for an appropriate administrative search warrant."

"Surcharge. A monthly surcharge of $50 for a single family property and a surcharge of $300 for all other properties shall be added to each sewer and water bill if:

An owner or occupant refuses to allow an inspection within 30 days of the postmarked date of the notice, unless otherwise agreed to by the inspector."

"The surcharge shall be added for every month during which the property is not in compliance."

"The City may suspend water service to a property that is not in compliance with this section."

So now I hope you get the general idea of what the Met Council is ramming down our throats. They want the right to enter our homes as they desire. To impose upon us a surcharge if we do not comply. And they want the right to obtain a search warrant to enter our homes against our will to do a lousy sewer inspection! Is it not reasons like this that people from other countries flock to our shores? To escape such governments that impose such injustices upon its citizens? I consider this proposed ordinance to be unconstitutional. It threatens our right to be safe in our homes from unreasonable search and seizure as well as a violation of due process.

Here is what we need to do. We need to contact our City Council members and the Mayor. I want to remind you that these are all good people that take their jobs seriously. I have faith in every one of them to do the right thing, as long as we let them know how we feel. Listed below you can see how to contact these people,

Mayor John Zanmiller

Clpn. Jim Englin-Ward I

Clpn. VanMoorlehem-Ward I

Clpn. Mark Tessmer-Ward II

Clpn. Ed Iago-Ward II

Clpn. David Wright-Ward III

Clpn. Darlene Lewis-Ward III

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