Fayette water and sewer costs 8.15

Written by David Green.

No matter what projects Fayette village council members tackle, no matter which way they turn, there’s always the $8 million question sitting in the background.

It’s something village administrator Tom Spiess mentions often, just to keep it fresh in the minds of council members. Eventually, the group will have to deal with sewer issues that are likely to grow more expensive as the years go by.

Spiess told councilors at the Aug. 1 meeting that a proposed long-term plan with the Ohio EPA calls for a reduction in the number of overflows into Spring Creek. By the year 2028, the amount of liquid passing through the sewage system must be reduced so that no more than four overflow events transpire in a single year.

Fayette’s sewer system is designed so that heavy precipitation causes an overflow into the creek, but the Ohio EPA wants fewer of them to occur.

The existing lagoon system can’t handle the volume of waste when storm water combines with septic waste. An effort to separate those two systems began years ago and now covers certain parts of the village. To complete the separation project, an estimated $4.2 million is needed.

RATES—Spiess said council should use every state and federal grant available, along with no-interest loans, but that’s not all. He believes council must also study the operational costs of the water and sewer system to make sure that rates cover personnel and chemicals.

Currently, he said, fees charged to customers don’t cover the cost of providing the service and money has to be taken out of the already-challenged general fund.

A new industrial customer with large water needs would lead to a good solution to the problem, Spiess said, but that’s not possible until the sewage system is replaced. The existing lagoon system could not handle an increase in use.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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