Development into east Lewiston Orchards: Sewer system needed

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The east Orchards has needed an alternative for septic systems for 40 plus years.

And now that Lewiston City officials have said nearby Lindsey Creek could possibly be contaminated from septic waste, the city council is trying to find a way to provide a sewer system.

Around 450 homes in the East Orchards aren’t on sewer systems. During a public hearing Monday night, officials said those 450 homes could be contributing to contaminated water that runs through Lindsey Creek.

Lindsey Creek is said to be the third highest contaminated body of water in Idaho and city officials said something needs to be done to combat it.

“This is foresighted thinking,” said Mayor Jim Kleeburg. “It is the only way we’re going to get any kind of sustained growth out into the East Orchards, we’ve been talking about this for years.”

But one of the biggest worries is the cost to county residents.

Nez Perce County Commissioner Doug Havens testified during public comment.

He argued that even though development east of Lewiston is one of the main draws to passing the bond for sewage, the residents of the area don’t feel the same way.

“For the most part, the people who live out in the Orchards like free space,” said Havens. “It’s hard to envision people carving up their lots and putting neighbors all around them.”

Commissioner Havens also argued some houses will not be able to be hooked to sewage because of issues with elevation and the terrain.

He exited the room without hearing a rebuttal, not to the amusement of Bob Blakey, who believes the entirety of Commissioner Haven’s argument was false.

“To hear him say that publicly, and then walk out the back door of the meeting, I think that’s an insult to the council, it’s an insult to the citizens of the city of Lewiston, and it’s an insult to the citizens of Nez Perce County,” said Blakey.

The council voted on the proposed bond.

The bond passed unopposed, six to zero.

The council said that as more lots open up with sewage available to residents, the city will be able to provide living environment’s for more people, and provide a draw for Lewiston to expand east.

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