The Yankee Lake sanitary sewer project has been split in two because of the inability of Trumbull County officials to find money to offset the cost to property owners who would tap into the line.
Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough said he is planning to build the line extension for Yankee Lake and to pick up homes on Yankee Run Road from Custer Orangeville Road to Lincoln Street. This project would hook in 51 properties.
A second phase will run from Lincoln down the rest of Yankee Run Road and onto Brookfield Avenue. There are 25 potential customers along this route. Initially, Newbrough wanted to build both phases at once.
Newbrough had sought money from a couple of state programs and the county commissioners’ American Rescue Plan Act allocation, but was not awarded any funding. He also had income surveys conducted of residents who would be tied into the sanitary line, but they make too much money to qualify for a Community Development Block Grant, he said.
As part of the funding package, Newbrough has secured a $300,000 low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, with customers paying back that money through a capital charge attached to each bill. He said he wants to limit the capital charge to no more than $25 a month per customer.
By splitting the project, “we have enough grant money” to cover the first phase while keeping the capital charge at no more than $25 a month, he said.
The project had been estimated at $4.3 million, but Newbrough said he is waiting for his staff to come up with new cost estimates now that the project has been split in two.
On Sept. 7, the Trumbull County commissioners set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in Yankee Lake Ballroom for county officials to outline the project and ask for objections or statements of support.
The commissioners in July approved modifying the contract with the project design firm, PRIME AE Group Inc. of Akron, adding $80,748 and boosting the total contract amount to $485,732.
The modification was needed to move a pump station and eliminate having to dig down 22 feet for flow from the village to reach the pump station, Newbrough said. Instead, the line will be built to a depth of about 12 feet, saving money, he said.
PRIME AE also will move the projected path of the line for the second phase around a piece of property “where the property owner has $1 million worth of gravel buried there, and he is getting a mining permit to mine that gravel, and so we could not get an easement in order to facilitate the original design,” Newbrough said.
“We have to alter the design and put a pump station in to reroute the sewage flow so we don’t have to end up trying to use eminent domain,” he said.
If the county would use eminent domain, it would have to compensate the property owner for the loss of the gravel that could not be mined, Newbrough said.
The property is at the northwest corner of Warren Sharon Road and Yankee Run Road, owned by Wesley and Barbara Osborne of Pulaski. As of Aug. 25, the Osbornes had not applied to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a mining permit, an ODNR spokesman said.
The modification will assure that the second phase is designed, saving the cost of having to design it later, Newbrough said.