Exmore will sue if sewer easements aren’t signed

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BY STEFANIE JACKSON, Eastern Shore Post —

Exmore is serious about satisfying the requirements to receive funding for its sewer project, even if that means suing its residents.

“We’re going to have to take our friends and neighbors and family to court … this isn’t vindictive or anything, it’s just business,” Exmore Town Manager Robert Duer told the Town Council on Monday, July 3.

State and federal funding for the sewer project is dependent on Exmore getting everyone in town connected to the new system, and before that, getting all homeowners to sign easements giving access to their property so town employees can service the system.

If all of the easements aren’t signed and recorded in the Northampton County courthouse, “we’re not going to get a dime,” Duer said.

He said the sewer project will cost Exmore $1 million a month, and without loans and grants, the town could support the project for only three months.

To ensure that any potential lawsuit by the town will hold up in court, the town council voted to amend ordinance 220, which passed in May 2022.

Ordinance 220 requires that any residential, commercial, or industrial building on a street with a water and/or sewer main must connect to the system or systems.

The ordinance was passed with an effective date to be determined, but “the judge can’t make folks sign up for an easement when (the date) is to be determined,” said Director of Utilities Taylor Dukes.

The Town Council voted for an effective date of the same day, July 3, 2023.

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