Sun. 4:06pm: State aid for septic repairs winding down

LISBON – A successful program at the Columbiana County Health Department, which has helped low-income home owners bring their septic issues into compliance, may soon be a thing of the past.

The board last week voted to apply for $56,000 in septic repair funding for next year. However, Health Commissioner Wesley Vins said he has been informed by the state that this round of funding is the last planned.

For four years, the health board has been using money through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. Vins pointed out the Community Action Agency helps pre-qualify the property owners free of charge, and the county health department’s environmental division runs the program, which includes putting the projects out to bid with local contractors.

Neighbors dealing with a nearby failing septic tank benefit by having a health issue cleaned up.

Vins said he has been told the state EPA believes the money can better be spent repairing sewage systems in high-population, low-income areas instead of on individual septic systems.