The plan would allow the township to connect to Youngstown and Hubbard city sewers.
BY AMANDA GARRETT
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- A petition to allow the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Office to study the cost of putting in a sewer system has met with a mixed response from one area in Hubbard Township.
The township has enough signatures for the petition in all the areas except in the southwest sector, Trustee Fred G. Hanley Jr. said.
The township needs 80 percent of property owners to sign the petition but has only 43 percent in the area known as West Hubbard No. 2, Hanley said.
"I don't know if it's a lack of interest or the fact that people aren't educated," he said. "We're willing to go door to door if necessary because this issue is for the public good."
Under the agreement with the sanitary engineer's office, the county will obtain a cost estimate of a sanitary sewer as long as the township can provide a petition with the signatures of 80 percent or more property owners agreeing to the study.
The township has enough signatures to move ahead with a cost estimate in the Kermont Heights area and is nearing completion in the West Hubbard No. 1 area. About 700 people live in the Kermont Heights Area and 2,750 people live in West Hubbard No. 1 and 2.
Also in the running
The Maplewood Park area is also a targeted for sewers, but the sanitary engineer's office did not require a petition for that location, Hanley said. The county received a federal grant because Maplewood Park is considered a low-to-moderate income area, Hanley said.
The sanitary sewer collection would hook the township up to Hubbard city's sewers except in the southwest corner, where they would be connected with Youngstown's sewers.
Once the cost estimate is in place, township residents will be able to decide whether or not to install the sewers, Hanley said.
Tapping into sanitary sewers would be more cost-effective for residents than having to update their septic tanks, Hanley said.
"This is a golden opportunity to finally get sanitary sewers in the township," he said. "This is a public health issue and it needs to be done relatively soon for the good of every resident."
The EPA has imposed tough sewer regulations on Trumbull County, Hanley and Trustees Joseph Gleydura and Tom Jacobs said in a letter to residents.
"Ninety-two to 95 percent of all septic systems in Trumbull County will fail to pass state and federal EPA standards and will have to be replaced at the current cost of 10,000 to 20,000 for each residence," the trustees wrote.
A new sewer system will have financial benefits for township residents, said Wayne T. Jones, a township resident and petition drive volunteer.
"It's hard to sell your home with an outdated septic tank," he said. "It will be much easier to keep property values up with a central sewer system."
The Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Office urged Hubbard Township to pursue sanitary sewer collection, after it received a 2003 nuisance complaint from the county health board about runoff from septic tanks there.
Hubbard Township was also identified by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency along with several other Trumbull County communities, including places in Bazetta, Liberty and Leavittsburg, as needing sewers at some point.
According to a consent decree with the EPA and the county, the Maplewood Park and Kermont Heights areas must have sewers or significantly upgrade their septic tanks by 2020.