Oregon is considering purchasing a waterline easement from Aldi on Navarre Avenue so that a fire hydrant can be installed on adjacent property owned by Rudy’s Hot Dog.
The city has been talking with the owner of Rudy’s to build a restaurant on the property, though it is just in the talking stage, according to Administrator Mike Beazley.
The properties on both sides of Navarre have already been assessed for waterlines, Public Service Director Paul Roman said at a Jan. 13 council meeting. “But due to a fire need, there should be a hydrant on the south side. It is an investment for development there. But at the same time, it’s needed for safety. We did put some monies in the budget for this work.”
There is a local waterline on Navarre, he added, but it’s located on the north side.
“We have a 20 inch trunkline in the middle of Navarre, but to get a hydrant to the south side, the best way to do it is to run a waterline from Aldi that heads west to the common property, which would be Rudy’s,” said Roman.
The right of way in front of Aldi is congested, he said. The city has initiated an agreement with Aldi so that the waterline could be extended to the Rudy’s Hot Dog property.
“We can get a waterline easement to make it a lot easier to get this hydrant in,” he said.
Commercial properties like Rudy’s would otherwise have to bore across Navarre Avenue to tap into the trunkline, he said. Getting a local line on the south side instead of the long tap “would be a much better use of their money, and they’re in agreement with that.”
An ordinance to purchase the easement and install the waterline will go before council in the next couple of weeks, said Roman.
“I will be asking council to consider the city putting in that portion of the waterline as well,” he added.
“Probably the only other issue out there for them is to work out a cross access agreement with Aldi,” said Roman. “Aldi didn’t put it into their legal description to have a cross access easement, but there’s a cost, too, to neighboring properties. Hindsight is 20-20. I wish we would have had more right of way granted in each direction, and therefore we wouldn’t be out there getting a waterline easement or there wouldn’t be an issue with cross access. But for what we have, we’re trying to do whatever we can to help development occur on both sides of Aldi.”
Mayor Mike Seferian said that his opponent during the mayor’s debate last fall had stated that the waterline in the middle of Navarre Avenue could have possibly been moved to the sides of the road when it was widened in 2004 to prevent costly water taps of new businesses.
“I think we estimated that it might cost $15 million to move. For most cases, there are taps there. This is one instance where we may have to come up with a few dollars, but nowhere near what it would cost to try and move that waterline,” said Seferian.
“One of the other things that we gain with this,” he added, “is not only will it provide water service to Rudy’s but it will complete the waterline through the whole front of Rudy’s. So for the next lot that would come up, we won’t be experiencing this problem again. The waterline will be there. It will finally loop into Schmidlin Road to make a complete loop.”
When Navarre was widened, the city put in stubs at every main road intersection so that local lines could be extended without ever having to go into the road, said Roman.
“But our main roads are a mile apart. So here we are mid block. We’re unable to guess where development is going to occur mid block. Through the years, we’ve had developers make taps to the trunkline, which is very expensive. In those cases, we’ve shared the cost with them. With Aldi in particular, they paid 50 percent of the cost to tap into the 20-inch trunkline. Then we paid for the programming of the traffic light in front. We shared in that. We want to do that to promote business. We certainly don’t want them to bear the brunt of the cost. In that same manner, we want to do the same for Rudy’s Hot Dog. It is the most prudent way,” said Roman.