Kettering residents concerned with costs of sewer repair

Maplecrest Drive residents who have had to deal with ongoing problems with their sewer lines are glad that the problem is closer to being resolved, but are concerned about the cost to fix the issue.

MORE: Cost to fix antiquated sewer line ‘impending doom,’ Kettering man says

The city of Kettering and Montgomery County officials previously disagreed about whose jurisdiction the Maplecrest homes fall under.

However, the city’s law department found records indicating that Maplecrest and other neighborhoods in northwest Kettering were originally part of Carrmonte Sanitary Sewer District, which was created in the 1920s. Since the sewer district was created prior to formation of Kettering, the city said the sanitary sewer lines – and this problem – are Montgomery County’s responsibility.

About 10 homes don’t have their own pipes going directly into the county’s sewer system, but instead are inter-connected, neighbors said. Because of the unique setup, when one pipe breaks or has problems, it’s much harder to fix.

The cost to fix the problem will come at a cost to Maplecrest Drive homeowners.

MORE: Unique plumbing setup a messy problem for Kettering residents

David Swanson, engineer with the Montgomery County Environmental Services, told those affected that the county wants to move the connections to a private sewer line, then connect that to the main line, which would allow each house to have its own connection.

The preliminary cost of the project is $241,890, Swanson said, adding that the figure includes survey costs of $17,900, which will be covered by the county. That would leave $158,990, which could translate to $1,282 per year assessed over 20 years to the owners of the affected 10 properties.

The payment for fixing the problem will stay with the property and not the owner, so if a property sells, the assessment remains intact.

“It’s unjust, it’s persecution, and an extreme hardship on the county residents you are responsible to serve,” resident Amber Hicks told Montgomery County officials during Tuesday’s commission meeting.

MORE: Lingering county sewer problem roils Kettering residents

Gary Wagner, another resident added: “The impending doom of this is terrible.”

Wagoner and Hicks have not had the same issues as another resident, Jenny Harlow, who had to move out of her home.

“We’d just like some resolution and one that doesn’t involve another mortgage,” Wagoner said.

Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert said county leaders are working to figure out funding to bring down the cost to residents.

“I wanted to let you know that we are very much concerned about this issue,” Colbert said at the commission meeting.

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