A consent decree may help many of the unsewered areas avoid 12,000 sewer upgrades.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Some residents of the Scott Street area of Newton Township are seeking help from county officials to avoid having to pay twice for sewage upgrades.
While talking to Trumbull County commissioners at their meeting Wednesday, the residents' representative, Newton Township Trustee Peter Augusta, discovered that the problem might involve a lot of legal issues.
But it might also be as simple as the signing of a legal document by the commissioners, said Gary Newbrough, county sanitary engineer.
Augusta read a letter he received from Dr. James Enyeart, county health commissioner, saying the health department would have no choice but to require full septic system upgrades for homeowners living in the second phase of the Scott Street project if their system failed inspection.
Augusta said the issue has to do with homeowners who might try to sell or remodel their homes in that area over the next couple of years. Selling a home triggers an automatic inspection of the septic system and usually leads to an order from the county health department to upgrade. The cost of such an upgrade is usually around 12,000. Some remodeling projects also require a septic upgrade.
The Scott Street area is set to receive sewers in two phases, Augusta said, and residents in the second phase of the project have asked him to find a way for them to avoid having to pay 12,000 for a septic system only to have it replaced by a sewer line in a few years.
Augusta said Dr. Enyeart's letter indicated that a cheaper fix costing around 1,000 -- a chlorination and dechlorination system -- would not be available to the residents except under two circumstances:
A public hearing was held indicating the area would be getting sewers.
The area was identified in a consent decree with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as getting sewers at some point.
Newbrough and Jim Brutz, assistant county prosecutor, said they have nearly completed work on a consent decree that would name the Scott Street area and eight others in the county as getting sewer lines between 2010 and 2020.
About consent decree
Newbrough said the decree, a legal document filed with the court system, would obligate the county to complete two phases of the Scott Street project by 2015. The second phase will cost 4 million and provide sewers for 199 homeowners, he said.
The consent decree, which could be finalized any day, may provide the documentation residents would need to avoid the larger sewage upgrades, Newbrough said.
The eight other areas that will be named in the decree are:
The Lakeshore neighborhood of Bazetta, built by 2010.
The East-Central Bazetta project, by 2010.
Two phases at Brookfield Center, by 2015.
The Meadowbrook neighborhood in Leavittsburg, by 2015.
The Southwest Bazetta project, by 2020.
The Little Squaw Creek Interceptor in Liberty and Vienna townships, by 2015.
The Kermont Heights area of Hubbard Township; by 2020.
The Maplewood Park area of Hubbard Township; by 2020.