Sewer plan presented to Clinton residents

The cost of progress isn't cheap.

Just ask 130 Clinton residents who got their first look at the price tag for a sewer system last Wednesday.

Representatives from engineering firm CHS of Bellevue unveiled a comprehensive sewer plan for the town at the Clinton Progressive Hall, a plan that included several options for waste water collection and treatment.

Based on the plan, the per-customer price for sewer service -- if approved by ratepayers in the Clinton Water District -- would be between $7,000 and $15,000 for residential hookups. Monthly fees would cost homeowners between $30 to $45 per month.

Commercial customers would pay between $100,000 and $250,000. Not included in the figures presented at the meeting were operations and management costs.

Two different systems with variations were presented: the membrane bio reactor and a sequencing batch reactor. CHS says the latter system has viability and was recommended in a 1995 sewer study by another firm.

An SBR system will take up less space. The facility can be located in a on a lot similar in size to a city home site.

The Wednesday night presentation was billed as an opportunity to hear firsthand from engineers which collection and distribution systems they were recommending and the costs of each.

Most of those attending the meeting seemed willing to sit and listen. But one man, Terry Tallman, walked out of the meeting when he determined his input didn't matter.

"I have no desire to stay here and sit through another dog and pony show," he said. "I am here to vote yes or no on the idea."

Several questioned whether residents would have a choice to hook up or not if the majority of water district customers voted to build the sewer system. Tim Harrigan, an engineer for CHS, said they would not have a choice.

For the purpose of the study, boundaries for the system include an estimated 500 subscribers to the Clinton Water District, which has a total of 700 customers. Property owners of vacant lots would not pay hookup fees until they developed their property.

Last month a petition with 100 signatures was presented to the Clinton Water District District board of commissioners asking that no more money or effort be spent on a sewer plan. At that point, the plan was nearly compete.

If residents and the Clinton Water District board were to decide on a system and voted to pay for it, Clinton could have sewers in as little as two to five years.

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