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10 business and residential property owners west of Peru's Terminal Road are being surveyed for their interest in connecting to and perhaps helping pay for a new sewer line and annexing to the city. NewsTribune photo/Craig Sterrett
One property’s immediate need for sewer service could help the city of Peru develop to the west. At least that was the message Monday from Jonathan Brandt, attorney for the owner of Tou-Rest Motel west of most of the city limits but east of the road that leads to the city’s west-side wastewater treatment plant. Brandt said various factors prevent the Tou-Rest owners from totally correcting a sewage/leaching problem to the south of their property, and they are under pressure from La Salle County to correct the situation. Peru City Council members and an engineer for the city hosted a rather informal meeting for property owners west of Terminal Road and east of Tim Perra Drive, which leads from U.S. 6 south to the city sewer plant. Seven of 10 property owners expressed some interest in annexing to the city and receiving city sewer service rather than relying on septic systems. Residential property owners could receive city electricity instead of Ameren service immediately, if annexation were approved, but businesses, by state law, would have to wait two years. One of the westernmost property owners, was in the council chambers only briefly, and did not address the council, mayor and engineer. However, Alderman Rodney Perez left the room and said the owner of the property (which formerly housed a rental business) was not interested in annexation or city sewer. Owners of a church property did not attend, and owners of a parcel that currently is for sale indicated uncertainty of whether they want to annex. Engineer Mike Perry and Mayor Scott Harl said the meeting was called simply to see if residents and property owners in that area were interested. If not all are interested in annexation, the city likely would not extend sewer lines along U.S. 6 to the fronts of their properties. “We have to make sure we have contiguous properties from Tim Perra Drive all the way easterly (to Terminal Road),” Harl said. If properties are not adjacent to properties in the city, they cannot annex. The owners of the agricultural property to the south, Jack and Mike Boehm, indicated they would allow the city an easement to extend a sewer trunk line along the south edge of the properties. “I’d cooperate in any way I can,” said Jack Boehm, adding that he would want the sewer line to be big enough to serve any major development that might occur. Brandt said westward expansion of Peru is going to happen “sooner or later,” and for his clients, “the sooner the better.” He said any national or regional developers would want to know if city sewer is available, and if it isn’t, they would say no. Property owners between Terminal Road and the Tou-Rest, including auto business owner Dirk Swords, the owner of the City Motel to the west, homeowners and residents Rick and Sue Konieczny, their neighbors Bill and Marilyn Weber and the Tou-Rest all are interested in annexation. Bill Weber noted he already has city water, is interested in no longer relying on and dealing with his septic system. Swords said a new dealer will arrive Aug. 1, and he will supply the dealer with cars and trucks. He said if Peru annexes his property, the city will benefit and sales taxes would come the city’s way instead of to the county. City treasurer Gary Hylla called the building inspector to check on the cost of tap-on fees, and learned they could be as low as $100. Perry was uncertain of the cost of the extension. Harl said Monday’s meeting gives the city information it needs to draft a letter to send to west-side owners and residents to further evaluate their interest and inform them about the possible project.
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