I bought this property in Dec 1999. The appraisal stated I was on a septic tank. We had the water turned on in Jan 2000 and the water department was adamant that we were on city sewer. Our property borders the city. Well, 10 years and over $2,000 later I discover we are not on sewer, but are indeed on septic. The city was still adamant that we were on city sewer and we are because the previous owners paid city sewer. The city retreated a little and said we were partially connected to the sewer. After 3 weeks they came out and dug up my front yard to proove me wrong, but instead prooved themselves wrong. I went to the city council meeting where they threatened to fine me for not being connected to the sewer and that I was charged sewer fees because everyone inside the city must pay even when they are not connected, I'm not in the city. They don't want to pay me back.
I contacted a lawyer who dosen't seem to enthused about this case. I have already researched everything the city has filed with the county and state and there no records where the city ever annexed this property. Meanwhile, another month has passed and I attend another city council meeting. The mayor started by saying they are only "required" to pay back 3 years of the money they charged me for sewer and that I "had" to connect to the sewer because it is now a state law. I countered by saying I'm not in the city limits, they have no proof that I'm inside the city, they cannot force me to connect because their city ordances do not extend beyond their city boundaries. The city attorney mumbled that they can go 10 miles beyond the border. I stated that a lady I work with has rent houses inside the city limits and they are not connected to the sewer. They mayor said they needed some kind of grinder-pumps go get "it" to go uphill. I said that he was talking costs and I asked, so which is it 10 miles, or costs? At this point the mayor screamed that he did not want to talk about it and waved his arms in frustration, so we left, but not before my wife asked if he wanted to talk about it in court? Gotta love her!
Now I believe my attorney is waiting on me to pay him a little bit to get the paperwork started and said he will serve the mayor this Friday. He also said he would send me a schedule of charges/cost to me yesterday/Monday, but I haven't received it yet. My attorney plans to tack his legal fees onto the $2046 the city owes me.
The septic tank company and the state health department assures me that I do not need a permit to repair/upgrade my field line because I am grand-fathered in. The only inspection needed is the work must be inspected and approved before the new lines are covered.
This seems like a very simple case to me, just hard to explain. I would have never paid sewer fees, a very high usage fee, if the city had not said I was connected. I don't know of anybody who would not have believed the city. A person just don't go digging up his back yard to see if the city knows what it is talking about. Although, after this, it might not be a bad idea.
Does it sound like to you like I should get my money plus attorney fees, or not?