Fayette sewer rates to increase 11.24.2010

Written by David Green.

sewer.rates.f.jpgBy DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members voted last week to alter the approach to solving the combined sewer overflow (CSO)problem. The new direction will be more costly, but it’s hoped that down the road the village will save money.

A combined sewer overflow occurs when storm water (such as after a heavy rainfall) combines with sanitary sewage and overburdens the sewer system. When this happens, raw sewage combines with storm water and flows into Spring Creek—the small stream that passes through Fayette.

Despite completing several CSO projects in the past decade, much work remains to be done. In the past, CSO elimination has focused on installing new storm sewer lines.

Tim Harmsen of Arcadis, the engineering firm employed by the village, has said in the past that the only way to completely eliminate overflows is to install new sanitary lines.

Harmsen said if the village continued with its current Long Term Control Plan—installing storm lines—and overflows still persisted, the Ohio EPA would likely require new sanitary lines, as well.

The EPA initially requested that the village install sanitary lines, said village administrator Amy Metz, but council members in the past voted to go with storm sewer lines because of a concern with flooding problems. That, she said, treated the symptom but not the root cause.

Sanitary sewer lines cost about 20 percent more than storm lines, increasing the estimated cost of the project from $5.9 million to $7 million.

Since engineering for the project has not yet begun, Metz told council Nov. 15, a decision about which direction to take needs to be made now.

Council voted 4-0 to alter the approach to replace sanitary lines, with Paula Ferguson and Mike Maginn absent from the meeting.

“Thank you for making that very difficult decision,” mayor Ruth Marlatt said.

Either approach would lead to price increases in the cost of sewer rates. A residential sewer rate chart proposed by Arcadis is based on an average usage of 4,500 gallons a month.

In 2011, the monthly cost would increase by $9 a month, then by an additional $12 a month in 2012 and an additional $19 a month in 2013. At that point the rates would hold steady and increase only based on inflation costs.

This includes an increase in the enhancement fee—a charge used to build funds for maintenance and repair of the sewer system.

The storm sewer approach would have cost about $6.60 less per month at the 2013 levels.

Metz pointed out that the increased rates do not take into account any grants the village might obtain. Several state and federal grants have helped pay for sewer work in the past.

Additional users would also lower the cost for other residents, but councilor Tommy Molitierno said that attracting new users might be difficult with the higher rates.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017