Income survey planned for Summerford sewer project

(Posted April 24, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Yet this month, residents of Summerford and Lafayette can expect to receive a letter explaining an upcoming income survey.

County officials and township trustees are looking to extend sewer service to Summerford. Sometime down the road, they hope to do the same for Lafayette. As part of the process, they plan to seek government grants to cover most if not all of the costs. The grants require proof that the areas are low-income.

The idea is to connect Summerford’s 90 residences to the county-run sewer plant that serves nearby Choctaw Lake. Currently, those residences are served by individual leech beds or aeration systems. According to Rob Slane, county administrator, a number of the leech beds are potentially failing and, in some cases, wells and leech beds are close together.

The project might require residents to pay a tap fee for sanitary sewer service, but project organizers are optimistic that won’t be the case.

“There’s a pretty good chance, with the grants, that we will be able to cover everything, including the tap fees. Our goal is zero cost to the residents,” Slane said.

Information sessions will take place in early May, one at the Somerford Township Meeting Hall in Summerford and one at the Deercreek Community Building in Lafayette. Dates and times have not yet been set.

Residents will have three ways to complete the income survey–by mail, at the information sessions, or with a survey taker at their door. The door-to-door canvas will take place after the first two options are offered. Survey takers will have identification and drive marked cars.

“The survey takes five minutes and is anonymous,” Slane said.

The grants require a 90 percent response rate on the surveys, he added.

On April 23, the county commissioners approved a contract with Bowen National Research to conduct the survey. The cost will be $2,500 to $5,900, depending on the number of homes they need to visit. Though no firm plans are in place for a project in Lafayette, the county is going forward with the village’s income survey to save money on survey mobilization costs.

The county commissioners also opened statements of qualifications from six engineering/design firms vying for the contract to move the Summerford project into the engineering, design, grant assessment and loan application phase. Slane and Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume will review the packets and make a recommendation to the commissioners.

In other action on April 23, the commissioners set a public hearing on a request for rezoning of three lots on State Route 161 in Plain City for the purpose of operating a funeral home. Ricky Dean Tidd and Carmel Christian Center applied for the rezoning, which would change the zoning from agriculture to commercial. The hearing is set for 11 a.m. May 7 in the county commissioners’ office at the Madison County Courthouse.

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