LISBON County officials get a jump on sewer fix

Progress is being made on an effort to build a new facility for the physically and mentally handicapped.
LISBON -- The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is ordering Columbiana County to correct sewage pollution problems in the Winona area.
But county commissioners said Thursday they already are preparing to fix the problem through a nearly $1.6 million project.
"We are two steps ahead," Commissioner President Dave Cranmer said of the Ohio EPA's demand that a remedy be formulated within six months.
The problem: Cranmer noted that the county has long been aware that faulty septic systems among homes and businesses in the Winona area of Butler Township have been causing pollution.
In February, commissioners hired W.E. Quicksall and Associates Inc. of New Philadelphia to study the problem and craft a plan to fix it.
The firm is recommending that a county-owned sewer line be extended north about 2 miles from a sewage treatment plant on state Route 172 near Guilford Lake to the Winona area.
The sewer line would serve about 100 homes and businesses.
Funding: The county is seeking state and federal loans for the project, but they will cover only part of the cost, Cranmer said.
Sewer rates and assessments charged to those benefiting from the sewer will pay for the rest. How much rates and assessments will be is undetermined so far.
Store conversion: In other business Thursday, commissioners agreed to hire a Cleveland firm to design improvements to a former store that's being converted into a facility for the mentally and physically handicapped.
Studio Techne Inc. will perform architectural services for about $77,000, said Gerald Baker, program superintendent for county Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. The agency is overseeing the project, which will have a total cost of about $1 million. It is being funded primarily through MRDD funds.
Baker said the effort could begin by March and be finished by fall. The building, a former Ben Franklin store, is along state Route 45 north of Lisbon.

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