City seeks permanent easement for access to stormwater pipes on private land

The three pumps at the Williams Riding Way Pump Station. (WNG file photo)

WESTFIELD – An Order of Appropriation of $975 from Engineering Construction and an Order of Taking for a permanent easement of real estate for access to the drainage and sanitary sewer structures for William’s Riding Way Flood Control Pump Station required some discussion at the Legislative & Ordinance committee on Wednesday.
City Engineer Mark Cressotti said the state owns the land at the pump station, but the city has to have permanent access to the piping which is on private land. He said the landowner, Alice Weilgus, advised him of sink holes near the pipes which need to be filled due to a broken pipe. Cressotti said he was advised by the Law Department not to enter the land without written consent, which the landowner did not give him.
Weilgus, who was present at the meeting, said there are six sink holes that the farmer working the land nearly went into, and which she asked Cressotti to fix. She also showed photos of the holes to committee members.
L&O Committee chair William Onyski said the city was trying to get the ability to fix it. Weilgus said she gave word of mouth permission.
Attorney Shanna Reed said the Law Dept. asked Cressotti not to enter the land without written permission. Reed said a hearing on the eminent domain taking for a permanent easement at Thursday’s City Council meeting is not a public hearing, but a hearing by law for the owners of agricultural property to have their say regarding a taking by eminent domain. She said the $975 is for a permanent easement to access the piping.
On a motion from Nicholas J. Morganelli, Jr. the L&O committee recommended 3-0 the appropriation of $975 and the Order of Taking for a permanent easement.

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