City of Avon considering loans to help residents cover thousands for sewer project

Posted at 10:20 AM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 18:17:32-04

AVON, Ohio — Avon is undertaking a sewer project that is requiring some homeowners to spend thousands of dollars. Realizing they can't afford it all, the city's finance committee will meet Monday to discuss offering low or no interest loans.

Elaine Citro has spent five decades along French Creek Road with a septic tank, knowing a sewer line would likely come eventually.

The tough part is the price tag.

"It's going to cost a lot of money," said Citro.

City council records show total cost to put in the sewer is $1,108,450 but the city is covering $847,205.86.

That leaves $5,770 for each of the 36 properties to pay, which can be spread out over two decades on property taxes.

But a one-time payment, called the "tap-in fee," is needed to connect the homes to the new sewer line and it has to be paid within a year of the project being completed.

"Am I able to cover it," asked Steven Jacobs. "I don't know. It's going to be tough."

Jacobs says the total project could cost him as much as $20,000, but Avon and Mayor Bryan Jensen are taking notice.

"I think that's where the hard part is for residents," said Jensen. "It's like, here's another $10,000 we have to put in."

That's why Mayor Jensen and the city's finance committee are looking to create low or no-interest loans to help neighbors with the tap-in fee of $5,000.

The city would cover the one-time payment and the residents could pay them back over time.

"We understand there are some people that are on fixed incomes, so we hope to help that a little bit," said Jensen. "It's not going to go away but it certainly helps."

Jensen says he understands residents are upset but now is the time to do the project along French Creek Road. While the sewer is installed the city is also taking out an aging and increasingly-expensive pump station and doing both projects together saves money.

Just a few blocks away, the city has been putting off a similar sewer project around Elizabeth, Puth, and Joseph Streets, but the Environmental Protection Agency made that project mandatory a few months ago.

"And some people say why did you wait so long around Elizabeth, Puth, and Joseph and it's because people kept saying they couldn't afford it," said Jensen.

Now, he says the cost for those owners will be much higher when the project is done because it won't be offset by other work.

"We want to be proactive and council was good at looking at it and saying, 'The least amount is today,'" said Jensen.

Jensen says the French Creek Road project is expected to start this summer and be finished by the end of the year.