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City Council passes on Barben Avenue sewer hookup

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WATERTOWN — A Barben Avenue couple won’t be getting the sewer hookup they asked for from the city. At least, not anytime soon.

On Monday night, the Watertown City Council informally agreed not to take any action on a request by Peter J. and Libby S. Dephtereos, who asked the city for a sewer connection to their home at 285 Barben Ave., because their septic system needs a new leach field that would cost $5,000.

However, Councilman Joseph M. Butler said he would continue to see if he can find a way to resolve the issue without making a financial burden for neighbor Susan Favreau, who told the city she did not want to pay for the sewer connection to her home at 282 Barben Ave.

“I just don’t know how you get around this conundrum,” Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said.

Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns said she felt bad for both neighbors, but she could not go along with a project that ultimately benefited just one neighbor.

After the meeting, the couple said that they were disappointed with the City Council’s decision.

Ms. Favreau said she has no interest in abandoning her septic tank to hook up to the city sewer system after a plumber estimated the cost at $7,000 to $8,000.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk had projected the sewer hookup would cost $74,000 if it includes lateral lines directly to the Dephtereoses’ home and to their neighbor’s property at 282 Barben Ave.

If the hookup includes only the sewer line along the street, the cost would be about $52,000, he said. The money would have come out of the sewer fund.

The city’s engineering firm has said it believes as many as 140 homes throughout the city still have septic tanks.

The majority of the septic tanks, normally associated with more rural areas, are in the Sand Flats, an area on the west end between Arsenal and Coffeen streets with some of the oldest homes in the city.

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