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Strongsville receives grant, seeks additional funds for Howe Road sewer project

September 10, 2018 GMT

Strongsville receives grant, seeks additional funds for Howe Road sewer project

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – The city will apply for $540,000 in state funds that would help pay for the proposed Howe Road sanitary sewer project, estimated to cost more than $1 million.

City Council approved the funding application last week. The money would come in the form of a $270,000 grant and a $270,000 no-interest loan, according to Lori Daley, Strongsville’s assistant city engineer.

About two months ago, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District agreed to contribute $450,000 toward the Howe project, now estimated at $1.3 million. If the state money is awarded, outside funding for the sewer project would total nearly $1 million, or about 73 percent of the cost.

Daley said the city will use the NEORSD funds, and the state money if it comes through, to lower both the city’s cost of the project – which will bring sanitary sewers for the first time to Howe between Falmouth Drive and Boston Road – and assessments charged to the 33 households receiving sewer service.

Assessments will cost residents an estimated $13,271 for short sewer connections and $18,771 for long connections. They will have 20 years to pay off the assessments.

Dailey said eight households have submitted formal objections to the assessment amounts. So as required by Ohio law, council last week appointed an Assessment Equalization Board to rule on the objections.

Under law, board members must be “disinterested freeholders,” or Strongsville property owners with no conflicts of interest related to the Howe sewer project. Those are the only requirements to serve on the board.

The board members are Strongsville resident Robert R. Lucarelli, an attorney, John W. Rady and Nick Stepanovich. The men have served on previous assessment equalization boards in Strongsville, according to city Law Director Neal Jamison.

Daley said construction of the Howe sanitary sewer project is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

Jamison said the Howe project is necessary because over the past three to four years, the city has received “several” complaints of foul odors in the Howe area, due to failing septic-tank systems.

Also, Jamison said the city is under federal and state mandates to connect all households to sanitary sewers. He said the mandates date back to the 1980s, when an amendment to the federal Clean Water Act called for elimination of pollutants in storm water.