CLAYTON — The town council on Monday heard from townhome owners unhappy with the cost and quality of a sewer project.
As part of a $3 million street-repair program, the town aims to repave John Street. But before doing so, it chose to replace the aging sewer line serving John Street Townhomes. The town didn’t want to repave John Street only to tear it up later to replace the sewer line.
Because the sewer line was a private line serving only the townhomes, Clayton policy required the residents to pay the cost. The assessment was $4,488.94 per townhome.
Janice Batts of 712 John St. asked the town to reimburse her $85 for a plumbing bill related to the sewer-line project. Also, she wondered whether the sewer line actually belonged to the town instead of the townhome owners, and she had questions about the $4,488.94 assessment.
Patsy West of 718 John St. said she resented the fact that townhome owners were being forced to pay for a sewer line they did not know they owned.
Mary Fuller of 614 John St. said she had never had problems with the sewer line the town said it needed to replace. Now, Fuller said, she has dead grass and a dying tree. She pleaded with the council to reconsider the assessment.
Councilman Michael Grannis said he was confident the town did all it could to do a quality project at the lowest possible cost.
After the meeting, Councilman Art Holder said he felt sorry for the townhome owners. But the sewer line belonged to them, not the town, he said.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Holder said. “They blame the town, but it was a private situation, and the town didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Also on Monday, the town council went behind closed doors to hear an update on its legal tussle with Wise Recycling.
In December, the town’s Board of Adjustment denied Wise Recycling’s request to repeal a temporary-use permit granted to Source Recycling, a competitor launched by three former Wise employees.
The Board of Adjustment ruled that Wise did not have standing to challenge the permit issued to Source Recycling, determining that Wise was not a “person aggrieved” by the permit.
Wise Recycling appealed the case to Johnston Superior Court, and a judge ruled in its favor. The town now has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the Superior Court ruling. If it doesn’t, the Board of Adjustment will hear Wise’s challenge again.
The town council agreed to expand hours at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library.
Starting as early as October, the library will open at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It will close at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays. To cover the expanded hours, the library will hire a part-time assistant.
Current hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Finally on Monday, the council approved a policy governing donations to the town.
A sticking point had been who would pay to maintain donations of statues, plaques and like. The policy approved Monday says the town will pay for the upkeep unless the cost would be exorbitant. An example might be the cost of maintaining a building given to the town. Even then, the town would work with the donor.