SILVER SPRINGS - A total of $658,450 in federal grants will be available to assist local property owners with hook-up costs associated with the new wastewater treatment system.
Acting as the district's board of directors, Lyon County commissioners on Aug. 3 approved the most recently awarded subsidy grants. According to Silver Springs General Improvement Coordinator Ray Johnson, the district has now received 65 percent of what they estimate it will cost residents to hook up to the system.
The funding includes $558,450 in USDA Rural Development grants and a $100,000 Community Development Block grant.
According to program guidelines, the Community Development grant must be used only for the very lowest income level property owners, those making $10,000 a year or less. Johnson estimated this would help between 100 to 120 families.
All property owners are eligible to apply for the Rural Development funds.
Approximately $420,000 in hook-up costs remain and will need to be covered by a loan from the State Revolving Loan Fund. Final details on the surcharge to customers to cover the loan costs have not been determined.
In related business, the commissioners agreed to waive the sewer capitalization fees for three lots owned by the Silver Springs Mutual Water Co.
Water Company Manager Don Allen said the lots are community well sites and will never use the district's services.
"It would be an unfair burden on the same people you are trying to help hook-up to ask them to pay for parcels that will never be using the system," Allen said.
Commissioner Bob Milz expressed opposition to the exemption, stating, "When we put this project together it was based on a certain number of parcels. Now I see people doing everything they can to get out."
The remainder of the board disagreed.
"If a property can not benefit from the service, they should not have to pay. If the time comes it will be used, they can buy in like anyone else," Commissioner David Fulstone said.
The board also agreed to share the costs 50-50 with the GID for repair of Spring Circle. The road, damaged by heavy construction traffic, will have to be rebuilt.
According to County Engineer Dan O'Brien, the damage to the private street was due to poor base and was not the contractor's fault. The county's portion of the funding will come out of next year's road budget.