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home : government : government April 15, 2014

3/22/2013 10:38:00 AM
Sewer backups cost Hampton city council

by Olivia Detweiler

The Hampton City Council received a bill from Glenn Mulvihill at its March 12 meeting. Mulvihill requested reimbursement for the expenses that he acquired on February 13 when the basement of his rental property at 23470 Main Street flooded.

Council member John Knetter said that the city did have a significant backup on the evening of February 13 and he can attest that Mulvihill did experience flooding because of the sewer backup.

Knetter informed the backup was taken care of that night, but a couple weeks later it backed up again. The individuals who cleaned and jetted the line told Knetter that they thought it was gravel and debris in the bottom of the pipe that was causing the backup.

Mulvihill explained to the council that he submitted the damages to his insurance, but his claim was denied because the backup started in the city, so it was not the homeowner's fault.

Mulvihill asked for a total of $3,050, which included the cost for a dumpster, labor and the value of damaged items.

The council unanimously approved Mulvihill's request.

The possibility that debris or gravel was flushed down the line when there was a water main break during construction was discussed, but the council will not know for sure the exact cause of the backup until more information is collected when the city cleans and videotapes the line in spring.

If debris and gravel does turn out to be the cause of the backups, the council agreed that it would talk to the construction company and contractor about sharing the costs that have occurred.

Council member Jennifer Budrow abstained from the discussion and vote due to conflict of interest. Budrow lives on Main Street where the sewer backup occurred.


The council approved refinancing its 2006 improvement bonds. The interest rate will be lowered from 4.25 percent to 2.1 percent.

Shannon Sweeny, City Financial Advisor, informed the council that the refinancing would generate savings from approximately $12,000 to $14,000. The bonds will be refinanced over the original term for the existing debt that will come due February 2019.

Old City Hall

After months of debate, the council approved renting the old city hall. The decision came after much discussion between Mayor Tim Skog and the council.

Mayor Skog wanted to move forward with his plan of renovating the building into a youth center.

Knetter said that would require many changes to the building, including installing a handicap bathroom.

City inspector, Scott Qualle, had inspected the old city hall and informed the council that the building could be rented out as storage without making any renovations or changes. However, if the city wanted to change the occupancy then it would require renovations that would be estimated between $200 to $40,000.

Knetter said the city just did not have the money at the time to do this type of project. He suggested that the council move forward with getting a conditional permit and getting a renter for the building. This would bring money in for the city, while a solid plan for the youth center could be put together.


Mayor Skog presented the council with a new City of Hampton logo that he designed. He said the current logo had last been updated in 2004 and thought it would be nice to refresh it.

After it was decided that the change would not be any cost to the city, the council approved the change of logo.

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