Greenville City Council Discusses Sewer Expansion

The Greenville City Council discussed the possibility of expanding the sewer system in the city of Greenville Tuesday night at their regular meeting.

The city has the opportunity to borrow in excess of $4 million at a very low interest rate to expand sewer services.  Recently the city has held open houses, sent out mailings, and conducted direct telephone and door-to-door visits to try and gauge whether residents in the impacted areas would like to have sewer services. Right now those homes and businesses are on septic systems. The response has been mixed with many wanting to avoid hooking onto city sewer, while others very much want the sewer to be expanded to their property.

The council was presented with 21 different sewer segments they could approve for construction. One of the major concerns for citizens is the cost of hooking into the sewer lines once those lines are installed. Traditionally, paying and repairing those lateral hook ups is the responsibility of the property owner, however the city council is considering paying for those laterals in the hopes of encouraging more people to want sewer services expanded to their homes or businesses.

City Manager Dave Willey estimated the cost of each lateral to be $2,500, although that number could change dramatically from property to property, depending on the terrain and how near they are to a sewer line. If the city council votes to absorb that cost it could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars of the borrowed money would be used to install laterals rather than more sewer line.

The most the city can borrow from Rural Development is $4.9 million at the very low interest rate of near 3 percent. The council asked Willey to continue to try and reach residents that would be affected by the proposed new sewer lines. Willey said staff will continue to reach out to residents that have not voiced their opinion. Willey also said he hopes to have a better idea of the cost of lateral hook ups at a future meeting to give the council a number closer to the actual cost.

State law requires that anyone living inside the city, within reach of a sewer line, hook up to that sewer line. If you are currently on a septic system in the City of Greenville and have not been contacted by the city, you’re encouraged to call City Hall and voice your opinion at 664-1644. Mayor Alan Gaffner pointed out that the final decision regarding sewer expansion has not been made and citizen input is very welcome.