B’land mayor updates on sewer

Buckland Mayor Dan Lambert and Julie Ward of Rural Communities Assistance Program (RCAP) met briefly with the Auglaize County commissioners Tuesday to discuss the village’s expansive, upcoming sewer improvement project.

Buckland Village Council members learned in February the village received a $1.3 million, 50 percent grant for design and construction of a new $2.3 million sanitary system in the village.

The money may be available to aid the village in the construction of the new sewer system.

Ward said another $500,000 could be available in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money as well as an additional $100,000 to aid qualifying low income residents to tie in to the new system.

However, to get the additional $600,000, the village needs to go through the county commissioners to apply for the grant since

the village does not have its own utilities.

The Buckland project will transfer the village’s sewer system from individual septic tanks to a lagoon system. The move was mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

No official action was taken and the meeting was for informational purposes.

Village administrators signed a contract with Choice One Engineering at its March meeting to design the new system. The new design must be completed and submitted to the Ohio EPA by April 2013.

Lambert said they expect to see preliminary designs by September of this year.

Ward told villagers at the February council meeting that they were approved for the grant that they had applied for early last year to pay for the project.

However, the grant calls for all of the money to be spent by December 2013, which put the village on a tighter timeline. The time restraints could come with additional money, as Ward said the village would likely qualify for about $350,000 more in grants to help pay for the $2.5 million project.

Residents will pay a $20 assessment per property to help pay for the new system, and on top of that will be looking at an approximate $40 to $50 maintenance charge.

While residents have expressed some disdain with the new charges, Lambert said they have been understanding that the village’s hands were tied and that the move had to be made.

No charges have been officially levied on villagers as of yet.

With the new timetable, the village will advertise for construction bids in October 2013 and open bids in November 2013. Construction would begin between February and November of 2014 and homeowners could be connected to the new sewer system as early as January 2015.