Septic system money comes through for county residentsPublished 11:23am Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Residents of Otter Tail County soon will have a chance to save some money when replacing their septic systems.
The Otter Tail County Board voted Tuesday to approve a request to get funds from the Clean Water Partnership grant, according to County Land and Resources Director Bill Kalar.
The Pomme de Terre Watershed, a group that works toward water quality improvement, received the grant and will disperse funds throughout the six counties that are a part of its Joint Powers Board.
“If everything goes as planned, the outcome would be for the potential for low-interest loans for landowners, whereby they could acquire some funding to pay for the cost of a new septic system,” Kalar said.
The grant will cover up to $270,000 to help upgrade sewage systems the county finds are not up to codes. Kalar said the county will not be do replacement work itself, as has been its long-term policy. Instead, that burden will fall on the landowners.
Interested landowners will need to fill out an application, a process about which Kalar said there would be more information after all the paperwork is completed and the funding is formally approved. He also said the Minnesota Association Soil and Water Conservation Districts will handle some publicity of the new available funding.
“It will basically depend on how many applications we get,” Kalar said. “If we get no requests then of course we would not spend anything.”
Kalar said there is not a set amount that replacing an out-of-date system would cost and that each will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The grant has a three-year timeframe, so Kalar said county residents will have ample time to update their septic systems. But he also cautioned that the money may not be available forever, so it would be wise for people in need of replacement systems to apply for grant money as soon as possible.