JACKSONTOWN- Licking Township Trustee Dave Miller urges Jacksontown area residents to reapply for financial assistance as they prepare to connect their homes to a newly completed sewer system.
“If you weren’t eligible before, you may be eligible now,” he said. “Everyone should reapply.” Miller urged residents to contact Licking County Grants Coordinator Susan Spiker for more information regarding a CDBG grant.
Miller said most Jacksontown residents “seem positive” that the $4 million Ohio EPA-mandated sewer system was installed well and the contractor cleaned up properties following installation.
Licking County Water and Wastewater Director Kevin Eby said substantial completion of Jacksontown’s sewer was achieved Nov. 12. Final completion will be next spring, as additional yard work will be needed. He said the project ran roughly 20 percent over budget, and he had hoped substantial completion would have occurred last February, but Mother Nature intervened.
“The main challenge was the extremely wet spring and early summer,” Eby said. “(Contractor) Schaffer Excavating also ran into several areas of very poor soil conditions. These were the main cause for delayed completion and additional construction cost.”
Eby said all residents and businesses are required to connect if within 200 feet of a sewer collection line. “The residents have to pay to connect and hire a contractor to install new lateral line and abandon existing septic system,” he said.
The connection fee for the sewer system is $3,000 for residents with existing properties, and those within 200 feet of a sewer collection line must connect to it by May 1, 2016.
Ohio EPA ordered Licking County Commissioners roughly nine years ago to build a wastewater collection system to serve about 125 residents and businesses in the Jacksontown area. The order was issued after Ohio EPA determined that failing septic systems were polluting a stream and drainage ditches. The collection system would connect to an existing line near the Lakewood Schools complex to be conveyed to the Buckeye Lake wastewater treatment plant.
Licking County submitted plans for a permit-to-install (PTI) in May 2009 and the final revised plans on Oct. 28, 2010. Ohio EPA issued a PTI on Nov. 8, 2010, that required construction to start within 18 months. The PTI included a cost estimate of $2,151,280 with construction starting in July 2011, with work lasting approximately 11 months.
An Ohio EPA spokesperson told The Beacon previously that the PTI has been extended and that construction must start by May 2013. If that deadline was not met, the PTI would expire, requiring Licking County to resubmit its application. At some point, failure to start construction would have lead to fines for polluting the waters of the state.