By Doug Nurse www.ajc.com
Milton City Manager Billy Beckett is recommending that the City Council use a Prince William County, Va., sewer ordinance as a starting place as it debates whether it should have a similar ordinance.
Since its inception, the Milton City Council has been reluctant to grant sewer extensions —- even in some commercial areas. ut, as the city faces a tight fiscal picture, some are questioning whether the unofficial no-sewer policy makes sense.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors adopted the ordinance in 2003. Beckett said he picked the ordinance because it seemed to address many concerns voiced by residents while allowing some sewer in commercial areas.
Main points of the Prince William County sewer ordinance:
> Establishes development areas where sewers can go and precludes sewers elsewhere, including rural and semi-rural areas, except in extenuating health and environmental circumstances.
> Requires sewer connection of existing structures that have failed septic systems and within 300 feet of a public sewer line with adequate capacity.
>Requires developers to pay impact fees to cover the cost of extending appropriate sewer lines.
> States sewer expansion is not to be seen as a reason to increase residential density beyond those specified in the comprehensive land use plan.
> Prohibits private sewer plants.
> Requires public facilities, such as schools, fire stations or libraries, be connected to sewers.
> Establishes a mandatory, maintenance-reporting program for septic tanks.