— Property owners in Darrough Chapel will be able to spread the cost of connecting to a new sanitary sewer system over five years.
The subdivision has been plagued by sewer problems for several decades, including failing septic systems and sewer connections to a county drain. Through an agreement with the city of Kokomo, 120 homes are being connected to a new city sewer. Work is expected to be completed this year.
The Howard County Stormwater District is expected to enact a plan allowing property owners to borrow the $1,250 connection fee for the Kokomo sewer system and funds to pay a contractor to connect their residence to the sewer line.
Howard County will pay the city the connection fee for each of the houses in Darrough Chapel. The city would not waive the connection fee, county officials said.
The Stormwater District will hire a contractor to connect all the houses to the sewer system and abandon the existing septic systems. 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 5 percent interest for administration of the program. Funds will be repaid in 10 equal installments as part of the annual property tax payments beginning in May 2014.
Lake said 22 of the property owners in Darrough Chapel have started the process with many already connected to the city sewer, mainly south of Markland Avenue.
Commissioner Paul Wyman, a member of the stormwater district board, said the intent was to make the program available to all 120 property owners.
The board decided to reimburse those property owners who already have paid for the connection and allow them to participate in the program to repay the funds over five years.