EPA offers to pay 75% of Fayette sewer project 2012.02.22

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s sewer project took on a new dimension last week when village officials learned about a change in funding. This time around, the news is good.

A few months ago, possible funding through the USDA was to cover 45 percent of the $7 million project, but that slipped to just 28 percent before the end of the year.

Even at 45 percent, residents would have faced a difficult payment schedule to cover the remaining costs, said Fayette mayor Ruth Marlatt, but the 28 percent figure would have made it unbearable. Sewer rates would have increased by an estimated $33 a month.

Marlatt knew from talking with Roberta Acosta of the Rural Community Assistance Program that Fayette might be able to change its standing in the competitive grant application standings and obtain more help with the work.

That’s just what happened. Acosta made some changes and interim village administrator Tom Clemensen learned last week that a grant from the EPA would cover 75 percent of the cost. This leaves   the village to pay back a zero percent loan for $1.6 million over the next 30 years. 

If council members accept the package of grants and loans, residents will face an increase of about $10 a month on their sewage bill.

The work will complete the separation of the community’s storm water sewer lines from the septic lines and put an end to combined sewer overflows, a condition that sends raw sewage into area creeks. 

Morenci undertook the same work in the early 1990s. Fayette chose to tackle the project in phases, but this project would wrap up all remaining needs.

Clemensen told the Public Works committee Monday that Acosta is still trying to obtain a grant to cover work that will be needed at particular residences, such as where the sewer line now travels through the back yard rather than to a new line in the street.

The best-case scenario would have construction starting this fall, Clemensen said, rather than a year from now.

He spoke about the savings in electrical costs that will result when storm water is diverted directly to creeks instead of running through the water treatment plant.

The EPA has been fair and patient with Fayette, he said, in allowing the community years to complete the project.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016