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.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.

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