Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
By William Kincaid
Celina council ponders extending utilities
Six Celina-Mendon Road homeowners would have to agree to annexation
  CELINA - The city may extend utility lines to six homes on Celina-Mendon Road if the property owners agree to annex into the city.
City council members this week learned the county health department has asked the city to provide sewer services to the homes, located near the intersection of state Route 197, due to a wastewater problem that has persisted for a decade.
Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan said it would cost the city $40,000 to extend the sewer line approximately 800 feet to the homes. The line ends at the Baptist church on Celina Mendon Road.
Bryan also discussed the possibility of extending a water line in the area, which councilman Ed Jeffries supported, pointing out the city might as well install both lines at once instead of coming back later and digging again.
A water line extension would cost another $40,000, Bryan said.
Bryan suggested the city initially finance the sewer extension project, with homeowners paying the debt with a monthly fee for five years.
Councilman Jeff Larmore said the outstanding debt would have to be tied to each of the homes in case the properties are sold.
Council members Myron Buxton, June Scott and Jeffries recommended the administration proceed with project planning.
County sanitarian Michelle Kimmel said contamination from septic systems in the area was first detected in 2001 after complaints about odor from the nearby Waugh ditch. She determined one of the systems was leaking at that time, and since then, discovered other systems also were discharging into the ditch.
The Ohio EPA in July 2006 determined some of the septic systems were creating a public health nuisance.
"The most logical solution in our minds is to see if sewer could be extended along there," Kimmel said. "It kind of got dropped for awhile until (last) spring."
Kimmel said the situation was exasperated this spring when the contents of one of the septic systems bubbled to the surface between two homes. She has documentation of multiple failing septic systems in the area.
Meetings have been held with homeowners to discuss the possibility of expanding city sewer lines, she said.
If sewer lines are not extended, Kimmel said the health department could require some of the homeowners to purchase new septic systems costing at least $10,000 and would likely require permit renewals at additional costs.
"It just seems like the most logical solution is to extend ... sewer service to those homes," she said.
Homeowners wouldn't have to maintain the septic systems if sewer service is provided, she said.
Bryan stressed the property owners must agree to be annexed for the utility to be extended.
Scott asked Bryan to provide council members with any additional costs to homeowners such as tap-in fees.
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for Thursday:

Partly cloudy