800 pound gorilla in the room.
The antiquity of Shorewood's sewer infrastructure has finally come up in relation to the cost of its aging or deteriorating condition. According to Mary Buckley's report, Trustee Michael Maher, says “the system is about 80 years old.”
It seems that the aging system is not going to function as well as a new system and these costs will cause us to face up to the future installation of new design that might even help in improving the manner in which we handle our waste and improve our water quality.
Are we going to keep patching up the old “Greek, Roman system” no matter the cost?
What are our plans for its replacement? The pavement on Capitol Drive is not 80 years old and it's being replaced. We notice the bumps but sewers are invisible until they back up.
More to the point the sewer technology goes back to the Romans and Greeks. Who knows what damage has been done to the invisible system, especially when attempts at upgrading were made in the past few decades.
I've heard no discussion of modernizing the system nor of how to turn it into a self water-purification process that would be considered in the innovative building of a new town in this early part of the 21st century.
Its upkeep seems to have put us into debt to the tune of about a half million dollars. And we don't know if the repairs have been merely patch-up or the type of planned upkeep that would enable use of these components in a planned system in the coming decades.
The aging system is more than financing and more than increasing the fees and checking on interest rates regularly as Trustee Margaret Hickey suggests. She makes a good point as to cost and this seems also to suggest that it would be nice to have a plan for the system that is going to replace our ancient one
Shouldn't we confront the problem of declining sewers by planning for their upgrading rather than by by comparing our fees with other communities who are charging more for their sewer services? But as the 800 pound gorilla proclaims, “then what do I know?”