The City of St. Robert will officially assume temporary control of the operations and maintenance for the Ridge Creek subdivision’s water supply, effective Tuesday, Oct. 17. This date was announced at a meeting between St. Robert Mayor George Lauritson, the Board of Aldermen, Representative Steve Lynch, other city officials and residents from Ridge Creek. The meeting took place in the St. Robert Community Center at 6 p.m..
According to a message sent to current Ridge Creek residents, they should be receiving notification from the City soon to fill out the utility application. Those who have not received notification are encouraged to email Frederica Norriss at fnorris@saintrobert.com or call (573) 451-200 ext 1305 to help move the process along in a swift manner. Residents can also stop by the City of St. Robert Municipal Center.
According to the message, the City of St. Robert is also interested in hearing the thoughts of the residents regarding the potential annexation of the subdivision. Residents were given the chance to talk about the pros and cons of being annexed.
In a followup interview, St. Robert Mayor George Lauritson said he “thought it was a great meeting, and we’re going to continue moving forward.”
Mayor Lauritson said that out of the assembled homeowners at the meeting, most of them seemed in favor of annexation by the City of St. Robert. He explained that if the subdivision was annexed, the City would be able to provide additional services such as taking over road maintenance.
“We’re looking at all the paperwork on how to do that,” Mayor Lauritson explained. He said that the council members present at the meeting were in favor of annexation, should the residents of Ridge Creek decide to do so.
“I would like to see it happen,” he said. “I think they would be a great addition to the city.”
Rick Harne, one of the representatives from Ridge Creek, said “of all the meetings we’ve had so far, this was the most productive.” Rick confirmed that most, if not all of the residents who attended the meeting left feeling confident.
“You can see the genuine care from them that this is not something we should have ever been involved in,” he said.
Rick said there are still some legal issues to be considered before moving on to annexing the subdivision, still ownership of the subdivision still resides under Mike and Denise Stoner, but the residents of the subdivision are glad to finally see progress.
As previously reported in the Waynesville Daily Guide, once the City of St. Robert assumes control of the water system. They will install chlorination devices on three of the subdivisions wells. This would then bring the system to the testing standards of the Department of Natural Resources, which the developers of Ridge Creek did not have the funds to implement. The city will also be setting the water bill rates. For residents who recently saw a spike in their water bills to try and restore their systems, this could be a welcome change.
The City of St. Robert is able to officially move forward in their plans to help Ridge Creek residents following a special Board of Aldermen meeting last month on September 21, where an ordinance to execute a due diligence agreement was unanimously passed. The agreement was then approved by a judge, allowing them to assume control of the water systems.
The change of control is listed in the message to Ridge Creek residents as temporary, however the ordinance passed by the Board of Aldermen explains this as being an indefinite transition, with either party able to terminate the due diligence agreement with 30 days notice.