Housing may be coming to MedoraMedora city officials and members of the Tescher family are working to bury the hatchet in a disagreement that’s gone on about 13 years.
Medora city officials and members of the Tescher family are working to bury the hatchet in a disagreement that’s gone on about 13 years.
Ted Tescher, his siblings and their mother have been trying to develop about 14 acres of land in Medora just south of the railroad into about 20 housing lots, he said.
However, a sewer main leading to a city lagoon runs under a portion of the property.
Ideally a street would be constructed over the sewer main for easy access. However, the line runs at an angle, said Michael Maus, the Tescher’s attorney.
“The end result is that the street has to follow that water and sewer line, which means many of the lots are going to be irregular,” Maus said.
The city also does not have a permanent easement for the sewer line on the Teschers’ land, but officials negotiating to secure an easement, said Matt Kolling, the city’s attorney.
Why a permanent easement for the sewer main wasn’t established is “murky,” Medora Mayor Doug Ellison said.
“The city of Medora supports the housing development and we are in the process of working with them to figure out an accommodation for the sewer line,” said Medora City Attorney Matt Kolling. “It may come down to having to move the sewer line. We don’t think that’s a good idea because it would put some strain on the city of Medora’s ability to provide the sewer services, which is not a benefit to the city or the Teschers.”
Moving the sewer line would cost about $40 a foot, said Mike Njos, Medora city engineer.
The Teschers would like to be compensated in some way for a permanent easement, Maus said.
Ellison said the city has been consistent in not giving compensation to any developers.
However, Maus and Kolling are confident the matter will be settled soon.
“I think it’s possible it could be resolved within the next two months, because even when we agree on things, then we’ve got to get the final plat, give it to planning and zoning, get it to the city and all that kind of stuff,” Maus said.
Ted Tescher agreed.
“I don’t think we’re too far apart anymore,” he said. “This council that they have now, they’ve really been good to work with.”
The Teschers have not presented the City Commission with plans for development, but commissioners would have to approve it, Maus said.
“They’ve been planning for some time, but there’s the issue of the city’s easement for water and sewer that has to be resolved first,” Maus said.
Tescher hopes development on the land can begin by fall.
“There aren’t many homes in Medora,” Tescher said. “You put 20 more in there and look what it would do. It would really help.”