On Thursday night, our sewer consultant presented us with a picture of our sewer system here in Shorewood which obviously is more convoluted than any of the complicated Rube Goldberg machines, if that is possible.
The alternatives aimed at fragmented solutions to these real convolutions that have evolved over Shorewood.'s decades of development, some of that development as far back as 100 years ago, the alternatives also seemed to have a Rube Goldberg air about them.
New pipes would be connected to pipes that might be decades old which are of dubious condition. Direct drainage into the lake or the river and some sent to other municipalities.
One thing seemed certain, that a system separating sewage or sanitation water from storm and ground water was the most desirable goal. We are now down to financing.
Which costs more or which might affect our taxes more, the “restoration job” or a new system that separates the two types of water, freeing us from the anxiety of a backup every time we get a prediction of rain.
A new system may not take any longer than the “gold plated restoration.” The major and more troubled sections could be corrected within 3 to five years with other parts and connections being made over a 10-year period. We'd have to face up to the costs over a ten year period and even extend the financing if we needed to. We could consider assessments to individual properties.
We must remember that this is a major capital investment, not merely an expenditure and that with proper maintenance will last another 100 years. Improved infrastructure improves property values. It's not like going to an expensive restaurant for dinner.
It's a capital investment, something for our heirs, just as the one we inherited, but hopefully now that our village is developed, that our sewers will be better designed, perhaps incorporating some pretty good high tech devices.
I think the question now is, how much of the old system should be included or should be designed into our separated system or should we eventually discard all of the old within our design and development program? It seems that rehabilitation of the old is money down the “rat hole” while a new one would give new life to our infrastructure and the values above ground.
I go for a totally new system. That would be a dramatic announcement, “Shorewood votes for a completely new high tech sewer system.”
There you have it. Good night and good luck. And my regards to you Lenny.