County sewer projects progressing

September 6, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

According to a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office of Ohio, the plans for the Eden Park Sewer Project have been approved and the project can now be sent out to bid.

“We expect the bid date for that project to be set very shortly,” said Joe Delong, Scioto County Sanitary Engineer.

The $2.5 million project will run along Ohio 139 and Munn’s Run northeast of New Boston and will serve 245 homes and businesses.

Two months ago the Scioto County Commissioners passed a resolution authorizing the “quick take” by eminent domain for an easement on the last parcel of property necessary to start construction on the Eden Park Sewer System.

The easement is for 351 Hinkley Hollow Road, Portsmouth, which is owned by David Horner.

According to Scioto County Sanitary Engineer Joe DeLong, the easement runs through a portion of the front yard on Horners’ property.

According to an appraisal conducted by Sarah Veazey for the Sanitary Engineer, $700 is the fair market value of the property.

DeLong said the project has to be advertised for 30 days, then the county will open bids and award a contract. He said that process could take between 60 and 90 days with construction taking around a year to complete.

According to Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn’s office, the “quick take” process is still ongoing.

“It will be nice to get this project started so we can continue to work on the Minford Sewer Project,” DeLong said.

According to Delong, from their perspective, the Minford sewer project is looking good.

A month ago Delong sent a “notice of intent to acquire” letters to residents of the Minford area who have not yet signed the easements necessary for the proposed Minford sewer project.

“Ohio law authorizes the board (of commissioners) to obtain your property or an easement across your property for certain public purposes,” the letter states.

In the letter the county offers the resident a waiver on the $450 tap fee in exchange for title on the easement.

“The current tap fee and inspection cost is $450. A tap fee is required for all new connections to the sewer system,” the letter read.

Since the project was announced, the county has been in the process of obtaining easements on 740 properties.

“Have have about 90 percent of the 740 necessary easements,” Delong said.

The county has been told that work can’t begin until all easements have been obtained.

Delong said there will likely be some easements that will have to be taken using eminent domain.

“We are going to look at those that still have not signed and in some case we will change the location to avoid that (eminent domain.) Within the next two weeks we will be looking at that,” Delong said.

In March of 2010 the county was awarded a $14,912,000 loan and a $14,507,000 grant from the USDA to complete the project to install 30 miles of sewer mains and a new waste water treatment plant among other things. The proposed project will provide sewage service to 1,327 existing homes along with modest growth capacity for the entire service area.

In June of this year the Scioto County Commissioners asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a three-month extension on the $30 million Minford Area Sanitary Sewer Project.

“Scioto County will not be able to meet the current deadline of July, 31, 2012, for the Minford Area Sanitary Sewer and we are requesting a waiver to the current deadline,” the Scioto County Commissioners wrote in a letter dated May 21 to the USDA.

USDA State Director J. Anthony Logan said earlier this year that if the project is not under construction, or under a contact for construction, by July 31 a request could be made to the White House Office of Management and Budget for a waiver only with a extenuating circumstances.

“We have no word from USDA, so we are assuming this project is still a go,” DeLong said.

Delong cautioned that just because the county makes a request for an extension does not mean it would be granted.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.