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City Splitting Sewer and Water Costs for West Oak Street

A cost-sharing arrangement between Duquaine Development and the City of Sturgeon Bay to extend sanitary sewer and water mains west along West Oak Street (Sawyer Drive) was recommended last week by the city’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee.

Duquaine Development, which has been constructing apartment units on property it owns on the south side of West Oak Street (Sawyer Drive), has a development agreement with the city, with 68 units within three buildings having been constructed and another 26-unit building under construction. 

Community development director Marty Olejniczak said the units already built or under construction are served by municipal sewer and water mains to the south, but a four-unit building and future buildings will need to be served from the north on West Oak Street.

Olejniczak said extending sanitary sewer from the main on Duluth Avenue would be difficult and costly because the storm sewer along Duluth Avenue would be in the way, while the possibility of extending sanitary sewer to a main along Maple Street would require an easement through private property that the owners are not interested in.

As a result, he said, the depth of the sanitary main has to be lowered and extended to tie into the existing main within Oak Street on the east side of Duluth Avenue. 

Olejniczak said city staff met with Duquaine Development to examine options for paying for the utility extensions, with a cost estimate obtained from De Groot, Inc., which estimated the total cost would be $344,400 for 1,100 feet of sanitary sewer, 1,000 feet of water mains, along with manholes, hydrants and blasting rock/hammering.

Of the $93,488 portion that would be non-assessable, the city and Duquaine would split the cost 50% each. The total cost to Duquaine would be $130,414, plus $6,950 for each set of laterals stubbed to the property line. 

Olejniczak said the city’s initial cost would be $210,573, but with Sturgeon Bay Utilities willing to allocate $75,000 toward the project for road restoration and $88,829 that could eventually be collected in deferred assessments or hook-up fees, the ultimate cost to the city could be as low as $46,744.

“There’s ways for eventually [for] the city to recoup some of this [cost], but if you want to continue to see development go up on West Oak Street, this is probably the best, most cost-effective way to do it, in our opinion,” he said. 

Matt Musbach of Duquaine Development, who appeared remotely during the committee’s meeting via Zoom, said the proposed cost-share arrangement would be “a great proposition for our site, which will enable us to continue to provide housing for your area.”

“By putting the sewer and water connections in, this will allow us to continue our development,” he said.