By Polly Keary, Editor
A new kidney dialysis center is coming to the neighborhood near Valley General Hospital, and that means new sewer lines are coming in, as well.
So about 36 nearby homes on septic systems were offered the chance to form a group called a Local Improvement District, or LID, to enable all to connect to the new sewer line at once.
However, the application wasn’t complete in time to qualify homeowners for low interest, long terms loans with 75 percent loan forgiveness. So the city will try again this spring.
“We met with homeowners in the area last November to see if they were interested in forming an LID,” said Jim Gardner at the City of Monroe. “We found about 75 percent who said they were interested in pursuing it.”
Forming an LID would have made the residents eligible for a state Centennial Fund grant or other state trust fund money available for loans and grants for projects such as sewer line extension hookups.
“And depending on the median income of the area, it’s possible to qualify for partial forgiveness of the loan, so we were pursuing that,” said Gardner. “What we were seeing was that they could have qualified for 75 percent forgiveness of the loan and could have paid it back over 20 years.”
If enough people agree to an LID, then one can legally be formed, and then every house in the neighborhood would have had to participate.
The cost would not be insignificant. It costs about $7,000 for the city hookup alone, and then contracting brings the total to about $40,000. With loan forgiveness, that number could be brought down to about $9,000.
The possibility no longer exists right now, as the city wasn’t able to gather enough information for the application by the deadline. But the city plans to restart the process later this year.
If it doesn’t happen, then the houses in the neighborhood can stay on septic if they want, until such time as their systems fail. Then those homes within 200 feet of the new sewer line will have to connect.