PARKERSBURG - Some residents of the Lubeck Hills subdivision who went to the Wood County Commission Thursday seeking funding for a sewer project left flushed as commissioners declined to provide money, but offered to contact other officials to help.
"We don't get into public sewage," said Wood County Commissioner Wayne Dunn.
Residents from the Lubeck Hills subdivision, the Lubeck PSD and the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department went to the Wood County Commission Thursday seeking assistance for a sewer project.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Pam and Jim Hogue meet with the Wood County Commission Thursday.
Tim Miller with the MOVHD said they were made aware of the sewer issues when new owners of a home complained of drainage near their property. Miller said he tested the area behind the homeowners' property and discovered raw sewage. Miller said sewage drainage systems from four homes were causing the problem.
The residents told commissioners the sewage has been handled that way for 45 years. After the complaint was filed Miller said state code gives the owners 30 days to address the issue.
"Thirty days has come and gone," he said."We are at the point something has to be done."
The four residents are to either connect to sewer - at a cost of more than $12,000 per resident - or they can install aeration systems, which cost about $6,000. However if and when the PSD moves sewer lines through the area, the residents will have to pay for the lines anyway. The cost doesn't include the removal or covering of the old system.
Officials said there are nine or 10 homes in the area that may need to address the problem. But the complaint only addresses four property owners, giving them 30 days to fix the problem.
"It's a mess," Miller said.
"Why all of the sudden is this a problem?" Commissioner Steve Gainer asked.
Miller said it was because of the complaint.
The Hogues purchased their house in October 2011 and quickly discovered the raw sewage. They contacted the MOVHD.
"They had 30 days," Jim Hogue said. "Nothing has been done. We are at the end of our rope."
Miller said no one is fighting the idea the issue needs fixed, but funding to fix the problem is another matter.
Jim Armstrong, one of the property owners, said owners are receptive to the idea of a sewer project, but no one has addressed their costs. Miller said if the other five property owners agree to join the sewer line, which will reduce costs to the four required to make changes, the PSD likely won't be able to afford its portion of the project, which could cost as much as $50,000.
"It sounds like you are all are at a great disadvantage ... lack of money and a lack of answers," Dunn said.
The commissioner demurred at the idea of providing financial help. Instead, Dunn said he would contact state and even federal representatives to see if they could help the situation.
Pam Hogue told commissioners the raw sewage seeping into the back of their property was unacceptable.
"It should not be permitted," she yelled. "We are paying a price here!"
Dunn said the Hogue neighbors seemed receptive.
"Only because we brought the complaint," Hogue said.