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Morning Sun
  • County sets Franklin sewer fees

  • Finally, there is a sewer in Franklin. And after Friday, residents know just how much they’ll have to pay for that service.

    “We started this back when I first started working here,” said County Counselor Jim Emerson. “That was in 1996. It’s been a long way to get a sewer in Franklin.”

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  • Finally, there is a sewer in Franklin. And after Friday, residents know just how much they’ll have to pay for that service.
    “We started this back when I first started working here,” said County Counselor Jim Emerson. “That was in 1996. It’s been a long way to get a sewer in Franklin.”
    After years of work and planning, as well as work to remove the septic tanks throughout the city, Crawford County Sewer District No. 3 (Franklin) now has a working sewer system. Friday, county commissioners announced that the user fee of $10 per month will continue, and a $25.53 per month special assessment will be added to the sewer bill.
    That’s actually lower than estimated at a community meeting in 2009, in which county officials estimated a $40 fee per month for sewer hookups.
    “We came in lower than that,” Emerson said. “A lot of that is due to the interest rates. They’re about as low as I’ve seen, and they’re probably about as good as they’re going to get.”
    The efforts have taken a long time to get to this point. Emerson told the commissioners and the Franklin residents in attendance about the efforts to get the sewer system in place.
    “We were just about ready to proceed before the tornado [in 2003] put everything on hold. Once we got back to where we could consider the sewer system again, we had to go back and get funding, through USDA Rural Development,” Emerson said.
    The project totaled $2.3 million, and came from a combination of funding sources through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development division. $1.254 million of the total cost was through a grant, and the remainder, $1.046 million, was through a low-interest loan.
    Franklin residents will pay $25.53 per month (or $306.36 a year) in special assessments beyond the $10 a month user fee. However, residents will have the option of paying the assessment in full (and therefore free of interest) within 30 days of letters being sent out from the county. The cost of the payment in full would be $6,973.34.
    Only one resident spoke up at Friday’s public hearing, and said that the elderly and unemployed in Franklin could have a hard time paying the added costs.
    But Emerson said that these taxes were not the county’s idea in the first place.
    “To start with, we had a petition filed by the landowners. By statute, that had to be over 51 percent of the landowners. I think every time we’ve done something like this, we’ve had some for and some against. It’s a majority type deal. Rural Development tries to extend it out so it’s reasonable on people,” Emerson said.
    The Crawford County Commission also approved the Sheriff’s Department pursuing the purchase of three new vehicles according to schedule.
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