Millville considers getting a new sewer system
MILLVILLE -- Some Millville residents questioned the need, others worried about the cost, but in the end only two voted against proceeding on a proposed sewer system.
The city council will consider the matter April 20.
Engineers from Sunrise Engineering and two representatives from the Utah State Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Water Quality attended a Millville public hearing Thursday to answer questions relating to a possible conversion of the city's septic tank system of wastewater management to a sewer system. About 50 residents attended.
The debate started with fireworks.
"My name is Jean Jensen and I think our septic tanks are doing just fine," the first speaker said. "I don't think we're seeing the growth to warrant a sewer, and I'm against it entirely."
However, not everyone expressed the same contentment with the current system.
Robena Mathys said that the north side of town was more forgiving of a septic tank, with plenty of gravel to filter the water. The south end is "a clay pit" and will not allow the water to drain, causing the system to back up occasionally, she said.
Marcie Tremayne said her mother's basement has sometimes been flooded by "backwater" from the septic tank.
"I don't want to have that when I finish my basement," Tremayne said.
Others were concerned about the cost.
Mike Wyatt, now a Millville resident, said he has lived in two places where a sewer system was implemented.
"The other places I lived, it took up to ten grand to hook up to this thing," he said. "I don't want to stand here and sign over a blank check to you, do you understand what I'm saying?"
Tim Beavers, environmental engineer for the Division of Water Quality, said that the total cost to each individual resident would include; a maximum of $46 per month to pay for a 20-year bond issued by the state for construction costs; the cost of connecting the home to the system; and the cost of "abandoning" the septic tank.
This cost could be substantial.
Bob Bates, Millville resident, said that he had an estimate done on the cost of connection. He said it would cost him approximately $3000, or $10 per foot, to install pipes from his house to the road.
Davis said that abandoning a septic tank involved disconnecting its pipes, pumping it and filling it with gravel, a cost of at least $200.
Daron LeBlanc, funding specialist for Sunrise Engineering, said the State of Utah, through the Department of Rural Development, has money available to help "low or fixed income" residents pay the cost of connection.
Many residents, though concerned about the cost, felt that a sewer was inevitable. Nibley's plan to change to sewer and the availability of state money were cited repeatedly as reasons to proceed.
"We're going to have a sewer whether we want it or not," said Glen Stringham, "We're either going to do it because we want to or because we have to."
"I think that this is something we're going to have to bite the bullet on," said Gary Gettman.
After the discussion, Mayor Gale Hall asked residents to vote on whether the city should "proceed with the consideration of the application" for a sewer. Of the approximately 35 residents remaining, about two-thirds raised their hands in support. Only two dissented. The council put the matter on its next agenda.
If the action is approved by the council, Millville next has to apply for a state grant. Another public meeting will be held after the state accepts the application and before the city gives final approval to the project.