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Terrytown discusses Bellevue water issue
January 09, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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A water main break in the Bellevue addition last month led the Terrytown City Council to discuss the services they’re providing to the addition and what will be provided in the future.
Terrytown, then a village, signed an agreement with board members of the Bellevue Sanitary Improvement District (SID) in April 2003. Under the agreement, Terrytown would handle the addition’s water and sanitary sewer service, as well as sanitation disposal. That 12-year agreement, which includes a one-year notification of termination, will expire at the end of 2015.

During their January meeting last week, Terrytown Mayor Kent Greenwalt said the city has been spending a lot of money fixing leaks in the Bellevue infrastructure and asked council and city staff for information on the agreement’s terms.

“In 2003, members of the Bellevue SID said they weren’t interested in being annexed into Terrytown,” said city attorney Kent Hadenfeldt. “But they needed some kind of agreement because Terrytown was already providing those services.”

In the last few years, Terrytown has been working on installing water meters on all of the city’s residences and businesses, as well as searching for a new water source. Officials have also met with Bellevue to discuss amending the agreement which would require Bellevue to have reserve funding to help with maintenance and repair of the water system.

And during those discussions, the possibility of annexation came up again. Terrytown’s policy has always been that annexation must be voluntary by residents of the surrounding unincorporated areas.

Terrytown City Engineer Jeff Wolfe said the Bellevue addition has experienced several expensive water main breaks over the years. Those have been primarily caused by the type of rocky soil where pipes are installed.

“I’d think that many of Bellevue’s board members would be interested in annexation,” Greenwalt said. “For one thing, we receive city police protection they don’t get.”

But council member Jerry Green said that while annexation would bring in some additional property tax revenue, he was concerned with the cost of replacing infrastructure in the Bellevue addition.

Wolfe said according to the water system study they’re doing for the state, Bellevue is already considered part of the Terrytown system, so any state funding would include upgrades to their system.

If Bellevue considers annexation in the future, it would add from 500 to 700 residents to Terrytown’s population.

At the end of the meeting, Ward I council member Brad Van Pelt said he would not run for re-election, as he will probably be moving out of the incorporated Terrytown area. Also up for re-election in 2014 is Ward II council member Jerry Green and Mayor Kent Greenwalt.
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