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.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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