Press-Republican

December 6, 2012

Peru sewer project remains incomplete

By JEFF MEYERS
Press-Republican

---- — PERU — Town of Peru officials have revoked an easement-settlement offer with a town resident, as work has stalled on a project to repair a sewer line in the hamlet.

The town has been attempting to complete a project to replace an aged sewer pipe that runs from North Bend Road to the Town Hall and serves several homes along Route 22.

The town received easements from most of the residents along the sewer line, so workers were able to go onto those properties and replace the sewer lines. However, officials had some difficulty in obtaining an easement from one resident, Thomas Powers, who balked at signing an original agreement because he initially believed the document absolved the town of paying for any damages that might result from work on his property.

“There are only two buildings not using the new sewer line, Tom Powers’s home and the Town Hall,” said Town Supervisor Peter Glushko. “His property easement is the holdup to finish hooking up both of those buildings to the new line.”

LEFT WITH EASEMENT

Thomas Powers said that he did sign an easement last summer and does not know why the town rejected it.

“I signed the easement before the deadline and had it notarized,” he said, identifying Aug. 22 as the day he submitted the agreement to the town. “I received a letter four days later that it was rescinded. When that happened, I went in and took my easement back.”

Glushko said the original easement did not include the signature of the co-owner, Powers’s wife, Eileen.

“We informed him of that requirement, and he came into the Town Hall the following week with his wife, had her sign it in front of a notary public and then took the signed easement and walked out of the Town Hall,” he said.

During a recent Town Council meeting, officials decided to revoke the settlement offer and directed Town Attorney Donald Biggs to write and send a letter to Powers advising him of that decision.

“The town continues on with the process of eminent domain,” Glushko said. “The process will continue until Mr. Powers presents us with the signed easement agreement.”

WORK STOPPED FOR 2012

Powers, a former town councilor who in 2009 lost a bid for the supervisor’s seat to Glushko, said he believes the issue should have been solved months ago. 

He does not believe the old sewer line needed repairs, he added; his system is working fine.

The recent decision to rescind the agreement offer will allow the town to close the job for the 2012 season and reduce the cost of the project by $8,600 for work that was not completed.

The town will hang onto those funds in anticipation of renewing the project in 2013.

Email Jeff Meyers: jmeyers@pressrepublican.com