Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 29, 2013

Rural communities struggle to pay for wastewater projects

Rural communities struggle to pay for wastewater projects

(Continued)

Tollver’s situation isn’t unique. Over the last 30 years, thousands of Indiana residents in hundreds of rural communities across the state have faced the same conundrum: Build a new wastewater system to replace failing septics, or face the consequences from the state.

Those consequences could include fines or the possibility of health departments condemning homes as unlivable.

In Miami, Howard and Tipton counties alone, at least 12 rural sewer projects are either complete or in the works. Just this year, 10 communities in Indiana building or upgrading small-scale wastewater projects like the one in Mexico took out a total of $32.1 million in low-interest loans from the state to pay for their projects.

It’s a big expense for small, rural areas to build new sewer systems, and those expenses translate into monthly bills that are rarely less than $50 and sometimes more than $80 for communities that are often low income.

Those expenses have a lot of residents asking the question: Are these projects worth the money?

“I think every little town in Indiana is going to have something like this eventually,” said Reggie Wolf, a Jefferson Township Trustee and local business owner who was involved in the Mexico sewer project. “But I just wonder how much impact our system is going to have on cutting pollution down in that river. How much impact is our expense really going to have?”

It’s a fair question. Despite the millions of dollars spent annually on rural sewer projects, many state waterways still remain dirty and polluted due to things like farm pesticides sprayed on fields and chemical runoff from roads.

“One of the biggest challenges Indiana’s rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands face does not come from the end of pipe,” reads an IDEM statement on what it calls nonpoint source pollution. “It’s pollution that can come from our construction sites, our parking lots, our farms, our roads, and even our own backyards.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Miami County struggles through computer shutdown PERU (AP) — A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt. Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Miami County governme

    August 1, 2014

  • Waterford Place looks to 11 senior living duplexes to campus More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo.Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat com

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects – including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics – were set to sta

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS - Summer Fest 02 Russiaville Summer Fest starts Friday RUSSIAVILLE — You think you can knock a baseball out of the park? There's a contest for that. If you love to sing, there's an activity for that. If you're afraid to sing but know the words to your favorite song, there's an activity for that, too. The

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • July 2014 has been the coldest on record Veteran Indiana residents are familiar with the old adage as it pertains to weather: "Hang out, it's sure to change." And, change it has. Just 24 months removed from the hottest July on record in 2012, the National Weather Service announced late Thur

    July 31, 2014

  • One injured in motorcycle crash A 50-year-old man suffered chest injuries when he crashed his motorcycle at Washington and Lafountain streets Wednesday afternoon. A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Tommie Barger of Kokomo was driving a 1983 Honda 1100 south on Lafoun

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck

    A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries