Dublin residents will now have more of a say about when they will connect to city water and sewer services.

Dublin residents will now have more of a say about when they will connect to city water and sewer services.

After many changes, resident input and much consternation, Dublin City Council this week approved a plan to connect unserved areas of the city to water and sewer services at a pace with which residents seemed to agree.

On Dec. 7, council members unanimously repealed a city code that required residents to connect to city water and sewer services within 90 days at their own expense if they are within 100 feet of a line.

The code, however, was rarely enforced and council originally discussed expanding the deadline to two years.

Dublin Director of Public Works Megan O'Callaghan said public input caused staff to consider repealing city code.

"We've had lots of input," O'Callaghan said.

"We've had lots of phone calls, individual meetings and group meetings with residents as well," she said.

As for connecting to city water services, after research O'Callaghan found "not all public entities require a connection" mostly because it isn't a public health risk.

With the city code repealed, residents can connect to city water services when they're in range whenever they want.

The new connection plan also gives more time to residents who might need to connect to the sanitary sewer system.

Residents would be required to connect if their household sewage system is "inoperable or malfunctioning and a public sewer system is accessible within 200 feet of the structure," the approved plan said.

Residents would also have to connect to city sewer service if they submit a permit to Franklin County Public Health for a new home sewage system and a line is within 200 feet of the home.

Although new connection requirements are lax, Dublin will go forward with plans to extend water and sewer lines to unserved areas of the city over the next 15 years.

Dublin has budgeted money in its five-year capital improvement program to begin the extensions and anticipates spending $18 million on the project over the next 15 years.

O'Callaghan said a city picking up the cost of extending water and sewer lines is "unheard of" as most entities pass the cost onto surrounding property owners.

Residents interested in connecting to city water and sewer services before the line is extended in their area can petition the city to be moved up on the list.

According to O'Callaghan, 85 percent of property owners in the area would have to sign a petition requesting the extension.

Dublin will also waive 50 percent of tap fees and capacity charges for residents who connect within two years of the extension.