Brookfield Township and Trumbull County are not financially contributing to a sanitary sewer line project on North Stateline Road, and that has Ray Donahue a little miffed.
Over the years, there have been sanitary sewer projects on the West Hill that have offered some sort of financial assistance, especially to property owners who earn low or moderate incomes, but they bypassed Donahue and five neighbors.
“It kind of upsets me, as a taxpayer, that they can’t help us with a problem that’s being mandated,” Donahue said Aug. 19.
Trumbull County Health Department informed the property owners that their septic systems were failing and that they had two options: put in new ones or connect to a sanitary sewer line, Donahue said. The property owners decided on the second option, so they would not have to deal with maintenance, service contracts or changing regulations regarding septic systems, he said.
There was one problem with connecting to a sewer line.
promo“There isn’t one to tie into,” Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer Project Engineer Kim Blasko said Aug. 20.
It would require multiple pump stations to get the waste from those homes to an existing line in Ohio, a very costly proposition for six homes.
However, the city of Hermitage has a line across Stateline Road, which takes waste to Sharon’s wastewater plant. Hermitage commissioners approved an agreement with Trumbull County in August. and officials noted that there is the possibility more homes could be connected in the future. Trumbull County commissioners approved the pact Aug. 21.
The waste will flow through gravity lines.
“It’s a lot more appropriate to utilize gravity, when it’s possible,” Blasko said.
The cost of designing the collection line, laterals to each home and connection to the Hermitage system and construction is solely on the backs of the six homeowners.
“I’m refinancing my house,” Donahue said. “I have no option.”
“They (property owners) have to pay a tap-in fee, they have to pay a frontage, everything that usually a county and the township absorbs that cost, helps pay, they’re paying it all themselves,” Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles said Aug. 5, praising the property owners for “taking the bull by the horns.”
Once construction is completed, Trumbull County will take over ownership of the system, bill the homeowners – Hermitage currently charges $47.50 a month for a single-family household – and pay Hermitage, Blasko said.
The sanitary engineer has approved the plans, and is waiting for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to issue a permit, Blasko said. Once the permit is in hand, property owners can seek a contractor, and Donahue said they will ask for bids.
“We hope to go to bid in the next 60 to 90 days,” said Mark Ferrara, another of the participating homeowners.
Donahue said he did not know if construction would occur this year or next, adding that the health department is being patient.
“They’ve been really cool about it and moving forward,” he said.