Resolution requires county residents to tie in to Amsterdam sewer project

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CCM Staff Report
Carroll County Commissioners revisited a request for a resolution regarding hooking on to the Amsterdam Sewer Project during the Jan. 23 meeting.
Courtney Grossman, director of Environmental Health for the Carroll County General Health District, previously asked for the resolution and it was decided to give residents one year from the time the sewer becomes available to tie-in, but action was tabled on passing the resolution.
During the meeting, Grossman said Jefferson County commissioners are allowing residents in that county 90 days to tie-in. The village of Carrollton’s sewer connection policy gives residents a year after project completion to tie in, and she would like to use that policy for the residents in Amsterdam.
“Residents will have a year from the time they receive a letter from the Health Department advising them that they must tie in to complete the process,” Grossman noted. If they do not complete the tie-on process within that time frame, they will have additional time before the matter is referred to the county prosecuting attorney.
Several residents qualified for funding and are now tied into the sewer, she noted, adding if residents did not qualify for funding through the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), then they may qualify for funding through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF).
Commissioner President Christopher Modranski explained residents who are required to connect and don’t qualify for RCAP or WPCLF assistance still have one year to come up with the funds to connect to the sewer.
Commissioner Bob Wirkner asked, out of the 126 homes required to connect, how many have connected.
Grossman did not have that information in hand but said the health department has received 20 abandonment permits. Due to a lack of communication with the Jefferson County Sewer Department, she does not know when a resident connects to the sewer system.
Commissioner Donald Leggett, II asked if a resident qualifies for the WPCLF assistance, does that exempt them from the one-year requirement.
“The resident would have to follow the WPCLF grant guidelines,” Grossman replied, adding the health department has been flexible when working with WPCLF grant recipients.
Commissioner Modranski advised that the Health Department works with the Commissioners’ office on the WPCLF grant process as the two agencies work together.
Clerk Melissa Schaar recently submitted the payment for 22 sewer hook-ups through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and there is about $13,000 left to assist homeowners through the grant.
Other funding sources may be available to help residents.
Commissioners then adopted a resolution declaring an area in Amsterdam a public health nuisance due to failing septic systems and ordered county residents in the sewer are to connect within 12 months once the sewer is made available. Homes within 400 feet of the system are required to tie-in.

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