County officials had been looking at acquiring just the treatment plant.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
KINSMAN -- Officials envision a shuttered Kraft plant as the site of new industry and the solution to the community's septic problems with the help of a $400,000 federal grant.
The money, approved by Congress earlier this month, will allow township officials to buy the old Kraft property on Burnett-East Road, along with an adjacent wastewater treatment plant and potable water well field, said Deborah Setliff, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Steve Latourette, R-14th.
The property will be turned into a 50- to 60-acre industrial park. And county officials have their eyes on the treatment plant, which has enough capacity to handle all the sewage from Kinsman Center and nearby residential areas.
The center of Kinsman is one of the roughly two dozen areas the Environmental Protection Agency have dubbed "unsewered areas of concern." In Kinsman, as in the other areas, roadside ditches are choked with human waste discharged from failing home septic systems.
The federal funds were included in a bill to re-authorize the Economic Development Authority.
"I was pleased to work with local officials to make sure the Kinsman project was included in the EDA bill," said Latourette, of Concord. He is expected to provide more details about the project at a press conference Friday.
County officials already have been looking at building a collection system to pipe septic waste from nearby businesses to the Kraft plant.
Next week, Trumbull County commissioners are expected to approve applying for a $190,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that would be used to extend a sewer line from the plant about three-eighths of a mile to the intersection of Burnett-East Road and state Route 5.
That project would be the first step toward bringing sewer lines to Kinsman Center and the residential areas north of town, said Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough.
If the treatment plant is turned over to the county sanitary engineer's department, it would take about seven years to construct sewers to the whole area, he said.
Representatives of Kraft, the county planning commission, sanitary engineer and EPA and others have been discussing the fate of the treatment plant for several months.
Discussions had involved Kraft's paying the county about $200,000 to take the plant off the company's hands, said assistant county prosecutor James Brutz, who represents the sanitary engineer.
"To shut down the plant, to decommission it, would cost them way more than the $200,000 they would pay us to keep it going," Brutz said.