CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Planning Department plans to secure a third round of funding for its septic tank repair and replacement program.
The program, administered by the state’s Environmental Facilities Corp. carried out aims to repair or replace defective sewage systems that may be spilling pollution into nearby bodies of water.
Planning director Jason C. Pfotenhauer said the third round of funding will total $635,000 pending legislature acceptance through a resolution.
“The first round cost $225,000, and we spent all of that fixing about 40 septic tanks,” he said. This first round of financing took place in 2018. In 2021, the county received $340,000, of which it has only spent just over $100,000 to repair 13 tanks to date.
Mr. Pfotenhauer assured that any remaining money would be spent. “It’s just so much time,” he said. The district has until the end of 2026 to use the funds.
The money will go toward reimbursement of the cost of repaired or replaced septic systems along water bodies that have been identified as being at risk or at risk from sewage. Mr. Pfotenhauer said the county will pay up to half the cost of the repair or replacement, up to a maximum of $10,000.
The program includes properties along the St. Lawrence River from the towns of Hammond, Morristown and Oswegatchie and along the Raquette River from the village limits of Potsdam to its confluence with the St. Lawrence River. The town of Clifton on the Little River is also covered.
The program is open to anyone within these geographic boundaries, with some exceptions.
“The county operates through a sub-recipient, the North Country Housing Council. You can call them and they will come out and take a look, see if the tank system is failing and then the property owner is responsible for taking bids to pay for the work and once that is complete they can submit receipts. and when the work is done to the appraiser’s satisfaction, he can apply and be reimbursed up to half the cost,” Mr. Pfotenhauer said.
The North Country Housing Council can be reached at 315-386-8576.
He said the septic tanks typically have to be within 250 feet of the water body, but there is no income limit on the program.
“It’s based on geography,” he said.
New septic tanks, he said, can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $20,000, although the latter number is fairly uncommon.
“This is a huge benefit to ensure the water quality is improved,” he said.
For more information, contact the Planning Department at 315-379-2292.
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