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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • 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).
  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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