Deadline extended for Madre Loca to hook into city utilities

The city of Princeton has given Heide Burns a five-year extension to hook her Madre Loca Restaurant into the city’s sewer and water mains, pending approval by the Princeton Public Utility Commission.
Burns had originally been given a September deadline to hook into the city sewer and water mains.
Burns asked the City Council for the extension Thursday, June 13. She explained that the cost of hooking into the city utilities now would cost her considerably more than if the city utility mains were extended to the north side of her property. Burns and council members both indicated they expect commercial development to eventually take place north of her property and that the sewer and water mains would then be extended north.
Right now, the city sewer and water mains only come up to the south side of Madre Loca, and the restaurant’s utility connections are on the north side of the building, Burns told the council.
Burns said she got an estimate for boring under her parking lot to hook the mains to her connections, and it came out to about $25,000. If the city sewer and water mains were on the north side of her property, the hook-up cost would be one-tenth to one-fifth of that, she said.
City Administrator Mark Karnowski suggested the council consider giving Burns a time extension of either five years or when the city mains are extended to the north, whichever comes first. Karnowski also suggested a covenant could be placed on the Madre Loca property so that if Burns sells it, the buyer would have to hook into the sewer and water mains right away.
The council passed a motion to that effect. The motion included a notation that Burns has already paid the sewer and water hookup charges and that the reason for the extension is based on the fact that hooking up now would be far more expensive.
Burns opened Madre Loca in the former Pine Loft Restaurant and Lounge building on the city’s west side in January 2011.