Huntington Woods voters to decide on sewer, road bond

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published October 3, 2018

In the Nov. 6 election, voters will decide on a sewer and road rehabilitation and improvement bond proposal. According to the proposal’s language, Huntington Woods would receive up to $7,845,000, payable in a period not to exceed 16 years, that would be for “acquiring and constructing sewer and road improvements, including sewer rehabilitation and replacement of existing sewer lines, together with related and adjacent road reconstruction and related water improvements.”

The estimated millage to be levied, according to the proposal, in 2019 is 0.77 mill, which is 77 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 1.57 mills.

City Manager Amy Sullivan said Huntington Woods, after its engineers reviewed video from a televising of the sewers, identified some parts of its sewer system that need to be repaired. 

“They broke it down into three types of repairs. There’s replacement of sewer lines, and then there’s pipelining and pipe bursting,” she said.

While Sullivan said she didn’t know the extent of the sewer repair work, the roads that would see work are York Road between Huntington Road and Borgman Avenue, Borgman between Woodward Avenue and Hendrie Boulevard, Nadine Avenue between Henley Avenue and Scotia Road, and Ludlow Avenue between Henley and Scotia.

The replacement repairs have been identified as the most critical, Sullivan said, and this bond would cover the cost of the sewer mains where they need to be replaced. In some instances, she said, they are underneath the city streets. 

“Where they are underneath the city roads, we’re also going to do the road reconstruction at the same time,” she said. “That’s obviously more cost-effective; as long as you’ve opened up the road to put in the new sewer main, it would be a good opportunity to reconstruct the road at the same time.”

The City Commission unanimously voted to put the proposal on the ballot, Commissioner Joe Rozell said, as it needs voter approval to issue these types of bonds.

“I think that there’s a real value in moving forward with the repair of our sewer system,” he said. “We’re going to do it in phases, and so this bond, it will cover the most critical repairs and related road resurfacing in phase one.”
Rozell also said the city would use existing funds in its water and sewer fund to help pay for the repairs.

“We want to try to minimize the burden that this will have on taxpayers, so we spent a lot of time looking at how long the bond was going to be,” he said. “Were they going to be 15 years, 20 years? We looked at other sources of funding to minimize the impact. So in the end, I voted for it because I’m very comfortable with the millage rate we’re asking residents to pay to support this critical infrastructure repair.”