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Greenleafton established as subordinate service district


Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

Several Greenleafton residents addressed the county commissioners raising their concerns and questions about the Greenleafton wastewater treatment project at the November 13 board meeting. Sheila Craig, Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative, and county attorney Brett Corson answered questions.

Craig said they have been working on the project for the past three to five years, first with York Township. The township decided they couldn’t handle the project and asked the county to act as the fiscal agent for the project. The project involves first identifying the wastewater needs of the unincorporated community of Greenleafton, and then following up with the planning, construction financing, hook-up and long term maintenance and operation of a wastewater collection and treatment system

Craig anticipates that about 75 percent of the project will be funded through grants. The rest of the funds will come through a loan from the state of Minnesota. The service district will include parcels within the community of Greenleafton with the exception of the Greenleafton Reformed Church and its parsonage.

Corson confirmed that the drain field area that has yet to be acquired does not have to be in the subordinate district. Stantec is ready to go ahead with the geological survey. Residents can potentially replace their current home with a new structure or add a bedroom or two, but no additional residences can be added to the subordinate district. Craig said grants don’t allow for further development. Once the service district is formed, residents will not be allowed to put in their own private septic system.

During the public hearing there were no comments from the officers of York Township. There are a few homes that have compliant septic systems that are relatively new. Residents with compliant systems could defer payment until they decide to hook on to the community system. However, as part of the subordinate district they would be required to pay interest on the amount deferred. It is estimated that the cost to each member of the subordinate district will be from $5,000 to $10,000. Members of the district would get a low interest loan payable over 10 years.

The county will get a monthly fee from subordinate district residents to recover any funds which the county commits to the project and any future improvements to the system. The county can charge up to three percent interest for the state loan money, which will come to the county at a lower rate. Any resident that chooses to defer payment because they have a compliant system would still be required to pay the monthly fee for maintenance and repair.

Craig stated that the grant will pay for connecting pipes to be brought within four feet of each house. The piece to connect from the house and the four feet will be at the individual property owner’s expense.

The kind of system to be put in has not been determined as of yet. Craig noted that an in-ground system would have the lowest operation and maintenance costs. The service district will be overseen by the Fillmore County Planning and Zoning Office.

Commissioner Randy Dahl maintained that this project will benefit Greenleafton and should have no cost to other property tax payers in the county.

The resolution to establish the Subordinate Service District for Greenleafton was unanimously approved.

Other Business In Brief

•2013 newspaper printing bids are to be submitted by 10 a.m. January 7, 2013.

•The purchase of a desktop controller from Whitewater Wireless for $2,606.83 was approved. The equipment will help complete set up for the mandated narrow banding and will be paid for by local enhancement grant and 911 funds.

An intermittent dispatcher was hired effective November 23. Sheriff Daryl Jensen explained intermittent dispatchers don’t have a schedule but are called when needed to fill in. In a related discussion Jensen explained when an individual calls 911 and gets Rochester patrol, one can request Fillmore County and get put through to a local dispatcher.

•A survey on Fillmore County to be filled out by residents is available online https://www.surveymonkey.com/sFCCitizenSurvey2013. It will also be available at libraries. County Coordinator Karen Brown said responses to the survey should be in by November 30. The goal is for people to use the online version as much as possible. The county board wants to hear from people as to how the county is doing.

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