By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor
With slight modifications the Howard County Stormwater District board sent forward a proposal to help property owners in Darrough Chapel pay to connect to the new sanitary sewer.
The subdivision has been plagued by sewer problems for several decades with failing septic systems or connections to a county drain. Through an agreement with Kokomo the 120 homes are being connected to a new sanitary sewer with the work expected to be completed this year.
The Howard County Stormwater District Thursday voted to enact a plan by which the property owners can borrow the $1,250 tap-in fee to the Kokomo sewer system and to pay a contractor to connect their residence to the sewer line.
Howard County will directly pay the city the tap-in fee for each of the houses in Darrough Chapel. The city would not waive the connection fee, county officials said.
The county intends to hire one contractor to connect the homes to the sanitary sewer. Several contractors have indicated they want to submit a bid on the work.
The proposal will be considered for approval by the Howard Council on Tuesday, and the Howard County Commissioners on May 6.
Final approval by the Stormwater District board is expected on May 6 following a public hearing at 7 p.m. in room 338 of the Howard County Administration Center.
Changes approved Thursday require property owners that have already contracted to be connected to the sewer system or want to hire their own contractor, must provide original receipts for reimbursement to take part in the loan program.
The other change indicates that property owners are responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement of the sewer line connection between their house and the sewer line.
The Stormwater District will hire a contractor to connect all the houses to the sewer system and to abandon the existing septic system. Greg Lake, administrator of the Stormwater District, has estimated the total cost at $4,000 for each house.
Lake said the District has the $480,000 available to cover the costs if all 120 property owners sign up for the program.
Property owners will be charged five percent interest for the administration of the program and the funds will be repaid in ten equal installments as part of
The Stormwater District has spent approximately $116,000 on the project and received a $600,000 grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
Through an agreement with Kokomo, Darrough Chapel property owners will be charged a $45 per month sewer fee. Kokomo agreed to extend an interceptor sewer line along Arnold Avenue at a cost of $1.2 million for the Darrough Chapel connection.
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