(Photo: Rodney Crowe speaks to Yarmouth Town Council in June)
The Town of Yarmouth has reviewed its sewer by-law after local resident Rodney Crowe brought a petition to council.
Crowe's sewer backed up into his basement earlier this year, and he says he was on the hook for thousands of dollars to fix it, as the sewer line hookup was under the street.
Crowe called for changes to what he called an 'unfair' law, saying he shouldn't have to pay to fix something off his property.
Last night, council passed first reading of amendments to the by-law.
This includes the elimination of a deposit system for sewer laterals, and would allow the town to place a lein on the property to cover the cost of repairing substandard work for 12 months following the issuing of a street disturbance permit for sewer lateral repair.
The town would also be responsible for replacing asphalt and concrete street infrastructure following the replacement of sewer laterals.
Mayor Pam Mood says homeowners are still responsible for fixing the sewer line.
"For example, they have to hire a contractor. They have to make sure the contractor is doing a great job. We're trying step by step. Nothing is written in stone yet, so we'll certainly take into consideration what the public has to say in the near future."
There will be a Public Hearing on the issue.
Meanwhile, Rodney Crowe says the by-law changes are a good first step.
He says the town should go a little further.
"They are still depending on the homeowner to take responsibility for the whole lateral pipe. I don't think that's right, particularly because the homeowner has no control over what happens on town property."
He says he doesn't expect the town to do everything, but he certainly would like for them to do their part.
Crowe says 1500 people signed his petition, and he will continue to bring his concerns forward at the Public Hearing.