19 Cranberry homes to get long-awaited public sewer service Owners required to pay $3,800 for hookup fee

July 23, 1998|By John Murphy | John Murphy,SUN STAFF

The County Commissioners gave final approval yesterday to a long-delayed plan to extend public sewer service to 19 homes in the Cranberry section of Westminster.

The $570,000 project is expected to solve years of health and environmental problems caused by leaky, failed septic systems in the Cranberry area.

The county will install a low-pressure sewer system extension for homes along Old Manchester Road east of Lucabaugh Mill Road, just outside the northeast limits of Westminster. The extension will become part of the Westminster sewer system.

Construction is expected to begin within several months and the project should take about 18 weeks to complete.

For Cranberry residents, the sewer line will end eight years of waiting.

In 1990, the county health department conducted a survey of the neighborhood, discovering a number of homes with failed septic systems -- some of which were leaking into nearby streams.

Other septic systems, some at least 30 years old, were outdated. A system's life expectancy is 15 years, county officials said. In most cases, the systems were beyond repair.

The county decided a sewer line was needed to solve the problems. Progress, however, was slow as officials worked on design changes and completed lengthy applications for state funding.

The bulk of the project will be funded by grants from the state Department of Housing and Community Development and the state Department of the Environment. The county will pay $115,000 in donated easements, and connection and inspection fees.

All 19 Cranberry homeowners will be required to connect to the system and pay a $3,800 hookup fee. The money will cover a $1,800 one-time sewer maintenance fee charged by Westminster, a water meter and the cost of closing the home's septic tank.

During a public hearing on the project this month, Cranberry residents applauded the project. Some, however, expressed concerns yesterday about the cost.

Bobbi Moser, the county planner overseeing the project, told residents that some might qualify for state assistance. Those who do not will be allowed to spread hookup costs over 20 years, Moser said.

Pub Date: 7/23/98

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