Officials OK sewer-project change
The new commissioner talked with a variety of county and Kinsman officials in recent days.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Saying a project in Kinsman Township is "the beginning of the sanitary sewer district up there, and they need it badly," Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda found himself on the majority end of a 2-1 vote.
Fuda, in office only two weeks, voted in favor of a change to the project on Thursday -- despite questions Commissioner Paul Heltzel had raised earlier about whether the project is the best one for county residents.
Fuda and Commissioner Dan Polivka approved a change that will allow a "package plant" sewage treatment facility to be built in the former Kraft Foods plant on Burnett East Road, and construction of 2,000 feet of sewer lines nearby to serve three commercial properties.
Heltzel, who voted no Thursday, had said on Tuesday that he wondered whether the first phase of the project benefited the public enough to justify the investment of 340,000 worth of county Revolving Loan Fund money. The project also includes a federal grant of 340,000.
The first phase will provide sewers to the former Kraft plant, owned by Smearcase LLC of Andover, an industrial park owned by Smearcase and a business called Vinyl Color And Grain.
The cost of the project has risen to 798,100 from 680,000 because of changes made to the project since it was conceived in 2005. On Thursday the commissioners committed an additional 118,100 to the project. In an agreement the county signed with the plant's owner, Smearcase agreed to pay the county about 200,000 to take ownership of part of the plant and use it to provide sewers to a couple of businesses, among them Smearcase-owned properties.
Studied the matter
Fuda said after the vote that he had spent a great deal of time studying the matter, talking with Kinsman trustees and the staffs of the county sanitary engineer's office and planning commission.
"They realize as of now it only takes care of two businesses," Fuda said of Kinsman officials, but there will be a lot of capacity available to serve other customers. The two businesses using the sewage system initially will only use 5,000 gallons per day of the 25,000-gallon capacity, Fuda said.
Fuda said Gary Newbrough, sanitary engineer, is convinced that the proposed location of the plant is the best one, despite questions Heltzel has raised about a previous study suggesting that a location closer to Farmdale might be better.
Newbrough said Thursday that a Farmdale location would be OK, but the former Kraft plant location is also fine. "Anywhere in between there is good," Newbrough said.
Sewers will eventually serve the approximately one-mile area between Farmdale and Kinsman, he said, if residents approve a petition indicating their willingness to pay for such a project.
Newbrough said the package plant can eventually evolve into the more standard regional type of treatment plant. Officials have said the life span for a package plant might be only about 20 years.
Asked if he had any comment on the split vote, Heltzel said, "That's my judgment."