UPDATE: Auburn City Council Votes Against Eminent Domain for New School’s Sewer System
In a 7-1 vote, Auburn City council decided to not take eminent domain over four private properties in order to build a sewer system for their new schools.
One private property owner in particular was fight against this and voiced her opinion at the city council meeting.
And her voice was heard.
With Auburn growing that means they have to experience some growing pains.
“Auburn is a growing community and part of a growing community we need more facilities for us and our children. So, there will be a new school built in the Richland Rd. area,” said Ron Anders, Auburn City Councilman Ward 2.
With the new elementary school opening up next Fall, they needed to figure out a sewer system for this new facility.
“For the sewage system to be more of a stand alone system that basically supports the school and minimal outlets to support residential construction around the school or another option a more expensive, more aggressive build out of the sewer system that would allow future residential neighborhoods to tap into this sewer system moving ahead into the future. To do that, though, we need to pursue eminent domain of some private property to push the sewer line through that property,” said Anders.
It would have been eminent domain over the Jordan’s private property.
“I think our primary objective to this sewage line is it’s such a permanent structure on your property henceforth that will dictate in the future what you can do with it. We had a different idea of what we were gonna do with it then what it might accommodate. It’s pretty intrusive on our private property rights,” said Betsy Jordan, whose property the sewage line would go through.
They want to pass this land down one day to their children.
“An easement through the property would jeopardize our future plan for the property and it might interfere with homesites that my children might have that would overlook the pond. I don’t want them to overlook the sewer line,” said Jordan.
There was another option to build a pumping station right next to the school, taking the sewage a different route and avoiding building a system through the Jordan’s property.
“When there’s options available the eminent domain is not appropriate and not appropriate when there’s still so many unknowns,” said Jordan.
The city council will now consider the alternative option.