Nailing down exactly how much it's going to cost each user of a proposed county sewer district in Franklin is about the only thing delaying public updates on the project.

Nailing down exactly how much it's going to cost each user of a proposed county sewer district in Franklin is about the only thing delaying public updates on the project.
That was the word Tuesday from County Counselor Jim Emerson, responding to a question from Commissioner Linda Grilz during the Crawford County Board of Commissioners regular meeting.
"It seems like this has been carrying on for some time," Grilz said. "I want to be sure this isn't sitting at our feet."
Emerson said, in discussions with community officials and the project engineers, figuring out exactly what the cost per user is going to be for the project is taking time. While establishing an exact dollar amount for the annual assessments to pay for the project is impossible at this point, Emerson said he hoped to have a general figure available soon to present to Franklin residents.
"We don't want to have what we had in Radley," Emerson said. "We went forward with the bids, then it was a lot higher than we anticipated and the public didn't want it."
Grilz also said she had some concerns over project funding, issues that were echoed by Commissioner Bob Kmiec, following a temporary federal spending freeze imposed last week by President Barack Obama as one of his first acts after taking office.
"Does this fall under that category, where the president froze every thing for the first few weeks?" Kmiec asked. "I know the USDA took some pretty big hits."
Emerson said he believed funding mechanisms were already in place for the Franklin sewer project. He also said he expects progress on the project to come sooner, rather than later. The county recently received updated cost estimates from Kramer Engineering, the firm overseeing the design on the project.
Once the county has better estimates on the cost to consumers, the plan will be to host at least one public hearing to share those figures with residents of the proposed sewer district. Emerson said he wasn't concerned of a repeat of the failed Radley sewer district, particularly if solid cost estimates can be presented to residents as soon as possible.
Commissioner Ralph McGeorge said he'd rather see those estimate come in high, rather than low. That way, if there was a need to adjust the assessments later, the change would result in consumers paying less, rather than more.
"If we have to make an adjustment, I'd rather go down, than the other way," McGeorge said.
"The main part is trying down and having the county commission comfortable with the number of users," Emerson said. "I think it's just tying those things down before we go to the public."
It was noted, historically in Crawford County, the average length of time it takes to establish a sewer district is seven years. But, Kmiec said, the commission has typically acted quickly in the past in completing it's portions of the project approvals.
"I know, since I've been on the commission, that sewer districts take a long time," McGeorge said. "I'd like to see them move a little faster than they do."
In other business, the board:
• Approved a request for a 2009 cereal malt beverage license for Countryside Golf Course, in Baker Township, south of Chicopee. County Clerk Don Pyle told commissioners the application had been reviewed the sheriff's office, the county zoning commission and Baker Township officials, and that no objections had been returned. On a motion by Grilz, seconded by Kmiec, the board unanimously approved the application.
Commissioners will meet Friday at 10:30 a.m. as the county's Board of Canvassers to canvass and approve the results of Tuesday's U.S.D. 248 school bond election. The regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners will follow immediately after the canvass.