Bayside is allowing 157 property owners to switch from well water to city water, and providing financing for the project—expected to cost each residential property owner between $10,000 and $12,000.
Currently, about 70 percent of Bayside residents have well water, either private or shared systems.
For several years, Northway Water Co-op No. 1 Trustee Howard Feiges has been fighting for residents in portions of the village to get municipal water. Other water trusts—the 29-home Vista Del Mar Water Trust, eight-home Santa Monica Water Trust and 38-home Northway Water Co-op No. 2—later joined, doubling the scope of the potential project.
On Thursday, the Village Board approved financing for all four water projects. Each trust volunteered to participate, and the village is merely acting as a financial conduit that will assess homeowners for their portion of the project cost over as many as 20 years.
More residents have joined, Feiges said, as they saw pipes break, outages and other problems with their aging wells. Feiges' water trust, for example, had to make $60,000 in repairs over the last five years.
"It makes no sense to replace our infrastructure when we could connect to city water instead," Feiges said. "I think a lot of people will end up paying more for their private well over the next 10 years than they would for city water."
Bayside officials want to coordinate the installation of the water mains with their street resurfacing project this summer. Feiges said the 157 property owners can expect to have water service up and running in June or July.
Turning the spigot on city water
With the Village Board's action Thursday night, Bayside will be able to assess a group of 137 properties, known as the Bayside Residential Water Access Association, $12,000 each if they pay annual installments starting Jan. 31, 2015. Other residential properties could be assessed $9,000 if they pay on the installment plan. Paying in full this year comes with a price break.
Commercial properties have higher costs, though they also will see costs go down if they pay the full cost now, rather than spreading it out over 20 years.
The Shul Center, wlll be assessed $35,000 if paying in annual installments, and Sendik's Bayside and the building that houses Community Bark would each be assessed $140,000 if on the installment plan.
The true individual costs won’t be known until the project is bid out by the Mequon Water Utility later this month, and a vendor selected in March, Feiges said.
"I am cautiously optimistic that we will be under the $10,000-per-household mark," Feiges said.
In addition to the assessments, Feiges said each homeowner will have to pay for a private water lateral that carries water from the main line to the home. Feiges said he is looking for a contractor for that project, and believes it will cost homeowners roughly $2,000.
The cost per resident goes down as more homeowners join the effort, Feiges said, and he believes the village’s financing plan could be open to residents who join the project before April. Connecting to municipal water will be an option in the future, he said, because the infrastructure will already be in place on the street.