Monday, July 13, 2009

Veto of Oakland Street Emergency Declaration

I am hereby providing written notice to all concerned parties that I have informed the city clerk that I intend to veto the council's action declaring an emergency on Oakland Avenue. 

We have some legal issues and or wrangling that must be done. I am truly concerned that this water leak might cause the home owners some harm. At the same time, the city is generally not responsible for repair of problems of this nature. Essentially, because the home has been built over our water main, a traditional $2,000.00 repair job could cost as much as $12,000.00 through no fault of the city.

Before taking that route, I have asked the city attorney to make a diligent effort to ascertain the rights of the parties here and determine whether the city should act or wait. Then if the city should act, should we seek reimbursement, demand up front payment or treat the job as a city expense borne totally by the taxpayers.

I empathize with the homeowners and those who suggest urgency is needed. However, we have many competing needs and this project seems, in some ways, to fall within the common language in deeds that says "with all and singular the tenements, appurtenances and hereditaments thereunto belonging or anywise appertaining." In other words, the homeowners bought this problem. 

The department is still working to get the preliminary permits and approvals done such that no great delay is caused. In the event that all is square, there may be a special meeting called to deal with this particular issue.

I will set forth my complete veto in writing at the next regular council meeting.

Stay informed: (Mayor Valley's Homepage) (Mayor's Journal)

Honorable James F. Valley
MAYOR - Helena West Helena
P O Box 248
Helena-West Helena, 72342
870-572-3421 Phone
870-572-5034 Fax
870-817-4035 Cell (City Council Agenda)

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