Landowners have more time to cover sewer costs

SALEM – Property owners affected by the Painter Road, Brooklyn Avenue and Depot Road sanitary sewer project will have more time to pay their part of the cost without interest before it’s placed on their property taxes.

The city Utilities Commission extended the deadline to Feb. 28 to pay the lump sum without interest. If a customer pays the lump sum anytime between March 1 and July 31, then 5 percent interest will be tacked on to the bill.

By mid-August, households which have not paid will have the total cost placed on their property taxes as an assessment over 15 years at 5 percent interest.

The city still hasn’t received the final project cost from the Columbiana County Engineer’s Office to determine the final figure property owners will have to pay. The city already has a letter prepared to send to property owners so they know what kind of bill they’re facing – they just need the final figure.

The Perry Township project was done through the Columbiana County Engineer’s Office, but the lines will be owned by the city of Salem since the customers will be served through the city. The city Utilities Commission agreed to pay part of the cost, with the understanding the property owners in Perry Township would have to pay the money back with interest.

They have the option to pay the lump sum or have it assessed on their property taxes for 15 years at a rate of 5 percent interest.

As of Nov. 1, six users had connected to the new sewer line and 16 of the 27 property owners had filed applications to connect.

In other business, the commission awarded a 3-year contract for dewatering and sludge removal from the wastewater treatment plant to Synagro for the estimated cost of $261,000 for the first year, based on the tonnage removed last year. The only other bidder, Agri-Sludge, submitted a proposal with an estimated cost of $363,691. Last year’s actual cost for those same services totaled $299,460 so the

city will likely see a savings.

The contract covers the cost of dewatering, transferring and getting rid of the sludge either through land application on farm fields or through disposal at an approved landfill. Sludge is the material left over after the wastewater treatment process.

The bid proposals had also included costs for just the transfer and disposal of dewatered sludge or liquid sludge, but those four sections were eliminated since the dewatering part of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade won’t be ready for awhile.

In other action, the commission agreed to authorize engineering by Howells and Baird of Salem to determine a price for construction of a 6-inch water line on East 12th Street to replace a 2-inch water line. The 2-inch line which dates back to the early 1950s has had several leaks in recent years and is deteriorating.

The commission also approved a new agreement for five years to continue participation in the EnerNoc Demand Response program, which pays large consumers of electricity to reduce power usage during periods of high energy demand. The city received $13,316 from June 2011 through June 2013 for participating at both the water and wastewater treatment plants.

The commission approved water and sanitary sewer service to Kevin Price for a Bricker Farm lot being developed and to Metal & Wire Products for expansion of a vacant lot in the Salem Industrial Park.

They also received notification of a permit to install issued for Price to install a water line from 15th Street along West View Avenue to the north for a development. A developer from Hartville, Price had approached the city earlier this year with plans to build six three-unit apartment buildings in the Bricker Farms area.