Grants sought for storm sewer project

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

The next step for a storm sewer improvement project proposed for the Pettisville area will be a search for available state and federal monies to lessen the financial burden of benefiting residents.

Fulton County Public Utilities Director Ziad Musallam said, depending on the funding source, securing one or more grants could take as long as two years.

Even if government financial assistance becomes available, a method to fund the remaining cost of the $1.02 million storm sewer project is undecided. County Commissioner Bill Rufenacht said the choices at hand are an increase in sewer rates or an assessment levied onto property taxes.

“The next part of the progression is apply for the grants. That will help us in our decision making of what our next move will be,” he said.

Rufenacht said a grant or grants wouldn’t pay for the entire project but would lessen the cost for residents in the service area. The tentative cost per residence has been estimated at between $2,148.24 and $4,296.48, plus interest. Should half the project cost become available through grant money residents could be responsible for only the first amount.

The storm sewer improvement project was petitioned by Clinton and German townships in February 2014. They complained that the existing infrastructure in the Pettisville area is affected by slow drainage and water ponding, and requires frequent cleaning and replacement.

The county commissioners passed a resolution of necessity on Dec. 1 to move the proposed project forward. A study and plan was completed in June to provide the Pettisville area with an improved storm sewer system that will divert storm water into surrounding streams. The improvements would potentially benefit 237 households within a possible 52.2-acre area.

Musallam said as yet no project design or specifications have been rendered, and no dates have been set for the project’s start or completion. Rufenacht said because the project is in its early stages there is no way to determine the length of the process.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.