MSD pays nearly $45,000 to resolve couple's sewer line issue - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

MSD pays nearly $45,000 to resolve couple's sewer line issue

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Tracy Stefanik Tracy Stefanik

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jim and Tracy Stefanik are again envisioning a new swimming pool, even as snow covered their backyard Friday.

Metro Sewer District administrators are paying nearly $45,000 to move a sewer line the Stefaniks hit while digging for the pool last fall. The city had given the couple a permit for the work, and no one told them the pipe was there.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Couple left with mess after pool contractor hits 'surprise' sewer line]

"We wanted to put the pool in for our grandkids," Tracy Stefanik said. "The oldest one has asked me three or four times recently with all the construction in the backyard, 'When are we going to get to swim?' Now I can tell him, as soon as it gets warm."

MSD administrators said a private developer built the Stefaniks' Brownsboro Road neighborhood in 1968, before the sewer district existed. It's one of about 300 systems that MSD inherited, and the records of where sewer lines run aren't always accurate, Chief Engineer Steve Emly said.

"This is the only time I can remember this (paying to move a line) happening," Emly said Friday.

Agency administrators began investigating after the couple complained in November. At the time, they said records showed the line where it was supposed to be.

Emly said MSD administrators decided against acquiring additional easement from the couple -- and reimbursing the $10,000 cost of the pool -- even if that option would've been less expensive than moving the line.

"Could we have saved a few thousand dollars? Probably, but we would've had a very unhappy customer," he said.

Besides wanting the pool for their grandchildren, the Stefaniks didn't want to sell additional easement because they feared it would hurt their property value.

Now, MSD is paying to re-route the pipe along their back property line. The agency will also pay to re-pave the couple's driveway because of possible damage during the construction work, Tracy Stefanik said.

Emly said the sewer line also runs through another Brownsboro Road neighbor's yard. MSD is negotiating with that neighbor to acquire additional easement, he said.

"They have bent over backwards to do this as quickly as possible," Stefanik said, adding that she hoped to have her swimming pool by spring.

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