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Luther Dealing with Sewage Backup Problems

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LUTHER, Iowa -- In the small Boone County town of Luther, the number one problem -- is number two.

"Yes, there's sewage in people's homes and when we had...we have storm water problems and when we fixed intakes and tiles there's raw sewage coming up," says Luther Town Clerk Linda Benson.

The town, with a population of 122, sits low and tends to flood. When that happens, sewer lines spill off into storm lines, causing the sewer lines to back up. Town leaders want to require all the homes in town to install water treatment systems at a cost of about $15,000 per unit. The town would borrow the money, and residents would be charged $80 per month. Neighbors aren't happy about that.

"We're already up over $50 a month without using one drop of water," says resident Cindy Miller, "This project that we're gonna do, you can clearly see it costing $200 a month whether you use water or not. Whose home is gonna have any value with a $200 water bill?"

Mayor Frank Duroy admits the council proposal will likely fail because of public outcry. "Right now I can see it not going anywhere," he says, "(So) we're at the mercy of whatever the DNR and the county wants to do."

The town council plans to discuss the matter further Thursday at 7:00 p.m.


  • iamjoespinkyfinger

    small towns will dry up if people don’t wish to pay the cost of maintaining their infrastructure. On the other hand, people in those small towns have also watched their tax dollars being handed to some of the richest companies in Iowa while receiving no tangible benefit from it and a great deal of harm. Boone County also has a problem that a lot of the land is agricultural and farmers get a sweetheart property tax break, and cash welfare of course, and they don;t pay fuel tax to help fix the damage their ever growing equipment causes etc.

    • Amanda

      When the loan that is already being used comes to term and has to be repaid the residents will see a $50/month tax increase – this money from my understanding was used for research for the project – a project that has been discussed for OVER 30 years and still a sitting duck! New residents should have to be responsible for life long residents failing to maintain their properties or choosing let the problems go un-repaired, but that is what is happening!

  • Paul Clark

    The real problem is that a tiny little town like Luther can no longer function on its own as an incorporated city. Very inefficient and obviously ineffective. Dissolve the town, get rural water service in and revert to septic systems.

  • harrisbock

    If a homeowner has a system he/she installed on his/her own, but it is not the right company, they would be forced to install the mandatory brand? Luther will become a ghost town and when the city is dissolved due to no residence, people will buy the properties for pennies on the dollar, install wells and septic systems. I live in a rural town with a city water tower so I can not instal a well. I would if I could because my bill is $60 per month just for having a water meter before a single drop goes through. I can hit water around 5 feet. My sump pump is always running.

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