Tyler Council refunds sewer costs, denies dumpster refund

TYLER – The Tyler City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to refund partial sewer costs to one resident, while denying a claim for dumpster use to another.

Resident Patty Torkelson appeared before the Tyler City Council to request that the city pay half of her expenses for the sewer work she had completed.

“I had a couple of professionals come out, including televising the line, to find out that the cover had collapsed,” she said.

Torkelson had to put in a new sewer system and found out that while she had been paying for city sewer service for several years, she had only been partially served.

“It was part city sewer and half septic tank,” she said. “We now have a grinder system. I’m here to ask if the city can help with the bills for the back payments for not getting service.”

Torkelson reminded the council that the city had an ordinance against septic systems, but she didn’t know about it when she bought the property.

“I believe that septic tank predates the ordinance,” City Administrator Robert Wolfington said.

“We still have electrical bills to run the pump that pushes the sewer water uphill to connect with the neighbors,” she said.

The council members reviewed her bills, which totaled $1,989.10.

The council noticed one of the bills was for roughly half of the total amount, at $912.30, and asked if it would be OK with Torkelson if the city paid that bill. She approved that offer.

The council also voted unanimously to deny a request from another resident asking the city to cover the cost of a dumpster requested over the summer because of flooding in July.

Resident Judy Hansen asked the city to reimburse her for dumpster use in the amount of $161.10, which included the disposal of two mattresses.

“Not all the properties were affected,” Wolfington said. “There were four more dumpsters than usual.”

“I don’t feel that it’s the city’s responsibility,” Councilman Scott Dressen said.

“The first and fourth times were due to rain issues,” resident Joan Jagt said. “Those in the middle were not.”

Jagt explained that, for the middle dates, they hadn’t started the sump pumps right away, and they ran out of gas for the generators during the day, indicating personal responsibility.

“In most instances, that would be covered under their (homeowners/renters) insurance,” Mayor Greg Peter said.

The council agreed.


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