Urban service boundary causes worry for residents

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Karlee Humphry
Meridian Times staff writer

Emotions pour from Meridian Township residents about a proposed change in the water and sewer system in the area. A possible urban service boundary, a line that places a limit on where the township supplies water and sewage services to residents, is the main cause for this outrage. For those who are outside the line, they will be responsible for supplying their own well and septic system.

Although there currently is not a urban service boundary, the township board has been given the proposed line by the planning commission in hopes to further along the boundary.  It became clear however, that much work still needs to be done to make this efficient for residents.

“I think all residents of the township should be treated equally if not equitably, and I think by having a urban service boundary that you are creating 2 separate classes of people,” said Leonard Provencal, a Meridian Township resident for many years. “I have concern with having an urban service boundary because those people who do not have access to water or sewage that situation is not well managed then and they potentially effect the environment.”

As many other residents of the township expressed similar issues with the subject at the township board meeting, Ray Severy, the Director of Public and Engineering feels differently.

“I think the goal is to increase density of development inside the service boundary,” said Severy.  “Trying to encourage development of those parcels at the core of the township, and develop those parcels before developing those outside the boundary.”
Because this boundary is a part of the townships master plan, it stays as a top priority for the board to discuss. However, with a boundary possibly being put in place, many residents worry about the effects it could have. Mark Kieselbach, the Director of Community Planning and Development hopes that it will be placed in a way that will effect as little residents as possible.
“There are some properties inside the boundary that are still on well and septic,” said Kieselbach. “We aren’t telling people that they have to hook up to public utilities but in general the eastern section of the township is where well and septic is still prevalent.”

As the board continues to discuss possible lines for this boundary, residents continue to give their opinions on the issue in hopes for an efficient outcome.  The issue will be discussed in future meetings for the township as the board works out a final plan.


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