By REBECCA NIEMINEN SLOAN
Kinsman and Farmdale residents now know the specifics about how the upcoming Sanitary Sewer Phase 2 project will affect their pocketbooks.
Gary Newbrough, project planning director at the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s office, said at a public hearing last week that the one-time tap-in fee for a single-family dwelling will be $1,800 plus a $50 inspection fee.
Property owners within the boundaries of the slated project area also will pay the county health department a $125 plumbing inspection and septic-abandonment fee.
In addition, for the next 20 years, they will incur an estimated monthly capital charge of $30.38 and a monthly sewer bill estimated at $39.94.
Kinsman and Farmdale residents affected by the project also will be expected to pay the costs of lateral construction to tie their homes or businesses into the new sewer system.
Although some residents expressed concern over how they would afford the lateral construction costs, the tie-in cost and the monthly capital fee and sewer bill, the majority of residents deemed the project a positive change.
Kinsman Trustee Linda Miller said she supports the project even though she realizes it will be a financial hardship for some, and Trustee Tim Woofter said he has been working for 30 years to get sanitary- sewer lines in Kinsman.
“The town is dying without it. We need it, and I am very much in favor,” Woofter said.
County Commissioner Paul Heltzel said although the project brings a significant financial burden to residents of Kinsman and Farmdale, the debt could have been worse. “The funding package we have is the best deal we could have gotten,” he said.
Kinsman was among several areas in Trumbull County identified in 2007 by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as being a potential health risk due to nonworking or malfunctioning septic systems.
Rex Fee, executive director for the sanitary engineer’s office, said lateral construction costs will vary and will depend on factors such as how close a dwelling sits to the road and the consistency of the soil surrounding the dwelling.
Low- to moderate-income families can apply for financial assistance to cover the lateral-construction costs, but they still will be responsible for paying the $1,800 tap-in fee, said Julie Green, grants coordinator for the Trumbull County Planning Commission.
Green said low- to moderate-income families may pay the tap-in fee prior to project completion, or the tap-in fee can be financed over a five-year period at 0 percent APR through a certification by the Trumbull County Auditor. Installment payments will be attached to the real-estate property-tax duplicate. The payments will be $360 per year plus a 3 percent auditor/treasurer collection fee of $10.80 resulting in a total annual payment of about $370 for five years.
Residents also will be responsible for choosing a contractor to handle the lateral construction at their homes. The contractor must be a bonded drain layer licensed with Trumbull County. A list of about 100 bonded drain layers can be found at www.sanengr.co.trumbull.oh.us/default.htm
The various costs to be absorbed by residents will help offset the project’s roughly $10.6 million price tag. The project is being funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan of $4.5 million, a USDA Rural Development Grant of $3.8 million, a $1.4 million Ohio Public Works Commission Grant and an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant.
The project has been in the works since 2009, and installation of sewer lines will begin in April. The project should take about a year to complete.
As part of the construction phase, nine miles of sewer pipe, will be installed parallel to roads in the most populated areas from state Route 87 through Kinsman center to nearby Farmdale.
Sewage lines will be connected to 337 structures that include residential homes, churches and businesses.
The project will include four pump stations, 90 concrete manholes and an upgrade to the Kinsman Waste Water Treatment Plant to increase its capacity from 25,000 gallons per day to 125,000 gallons per day.
The first phase of the sanitary sewer project provided sewers to the former Kraft plant, owned by Smearcase LLC of Andover, and industrial park owned by Smearcase and a business called Vinyl Color and Grain.