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posted: 10/1/2013 5:30 AM

Wheaton unwilling to bend annexation rules

Wheaton: No sewer access with annex

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Access to Wheaton water and sewer systems are for Wheaton residents and businesses only. No exceptions, even if you are a Milton Township highway commissioner.

City Council members Monday night briefly mulled over a request from Commissioner Gary Muehlfelt to have a Wheaton sewer connection run to his adjacent, unincorporated property where developers intend to build 21 single-family lots west of Gary Avenue near the intersection of Woodlawn Street and Knollwood Drive. Muehlfelt, however, has no intention of annexing into the city.

"They have made a request to develop that property without annexation to the city and connect to our sanitary sewer system," said City Manager Don Rose. "In order for that to happen, the city would have to consider modifying its existing regulations that require annexation to the city. Staff doesn't think that's a good idea because we deal with these issues over and over again. Just because someone doesn't want to annex to the city doesn't necessarily mean we should just let them connect to our utility system."

Council members unanimously agreed that there was no benefit to the city to changing the rules.

"Absent a compelling reason, I wouldn't be in favor of changing the code," said councilman John Prendiville. "We want to have properties developed outside the city, according to our own standards."

Thor Saline said he doesn't want to give the utilities away "for free."

"It's not very compelling as presented," Saline said. "They want the advantages of the city sewer without the disadvantages of what they might be."

Neither Muehlfelt nor the developer attended Monday night's meeting but asked that the council delay the conversation to a later date. Council members said they did not believe Muehlfelt needed to be there to discuss whether they would change their code.

"They knew for a couple of weeks that it was going to be on the agenda tonight, but they sent a note this afternoon saying they couldn't be here," Rose said.

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