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.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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.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.

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