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Town hits snag with sewer easement

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By Mark Scohier

The Bronson council has run into it first, albeit small, issue related to easements for the town’s new sewer lines.

Bronson resident Mike Owens sent a letter to the town May 15 stating he would not grant use of his property, about 20 acres of pasture where his home is located, for the lines until a debt had been settled for services he says he provided the town years ago.

But the council members Monday night, though admitting that Owens had done some work on a house the town had involvement with more than five years ago, said they weren’t altogether clear what Owens was referring to or how much money was at stake.

Mayor Franklin Schuler said the town never had a contract with Owens for repairs done to the house, though, he said, checks were made out to Owens.

Council Member Beatrice Roberts said she remembered the town paying Owens every couple of weeks as needed repairs were continuously uncovered in the house. She said she thought perhaps Owens was wanting a percentage of the final costs to fix the house, as some contractors ask for.

Schuler said it was strange that Owens would wait so long to make a claim.

“If I’d a been owed any money, I’d have said something before now.”

Council Member Aaron Edmundson said it deserves checking into, adding that the matter shouldn’t just be “brushed away.”

Town Attorney Steven Warm said it was curious that Owens ever had checks made out to him directly. He also said it may be that the statute of limitations on collecting any money, if some was owed, may have run out. But it was beside the issue, he said, bringing the discussion back to the issue of using Owens’ easement.

Town Clerk Kelli Brettel said Owens would not be an obstacle, explaining that the lines could be routed around his property.

Council Member Jason Kennedy said that the parcels in the area of Owens’ property were designed with 10-foot easements between them. The rules have been changed to 12-foot easements now, he said, though that might not prevent the town from taking advantage of what’s already been put into place.

 

In other matters:

• Council members voted unanimously to approve staff writing a letter to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity asking for a $25,000 grant.

“What I thought was maybe a water supply plan or something to do with economic development,” Brettel told the council. “You just have to write a letter asking for it. It might not even get through the budget process.”

 

• Council members voted unanimously is favor of adding two light poles on Tyres Alley and Thrasher Blvd for an initial cost of about $630, as well as a $23.44 rental charge every month.