By RON SELAK JR.
WARREN - Six years after a part of Kinsman was identified by the state as a potential health risk because of malfunctioning or failing septic systems and now more than a year since officials solved the funding puzzle for the multi-million dollar project, the contract to install sewers is ready to be awarded.
County commissioners today are expected to give a $5.8 million contract to Marucci and Gaffney of Youngstown, which submitted the lowest of 11 bids from companies in Ohio, Pennsylvania and one from as far away as Minnesota.
A second contract worth about $1.5 million will be awarded to Utility Contracting of Youngstown to expand a treatment plant. It submitted the only bid.
''This is a big, big issue,'' said Rex Fee, executive director of the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Office. ''It's satisfying. This was really needed in the Kinsman area for the people of Kinsman.''
The area of the township was among several in the county identified in 2007 by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as being a potential health risk due to non-working or malfunctioning septic systems.
This sewer project at $10.6 million is one of the most expensive being done to fix the problems, which is why it took years and considerable wrangling with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a loan/grant package that makes it affordable for residents.
Other funding includes a combination of other state and federal grants.
The multi-million dollar contract generated huge interest among contractors in and out of Ohio, which Fee said was expected.
The project is being done in two parts. The first took a treatment plant at the former Kraft Cheese plant near the intersection of state Routes 5 and 7 and converted it into a municipal sewage plant large enough to accommodate 25,000 gallons of waste a day.
Phase two will include expanding the treatment plant to 125,000 gallons a day to handle the new connections and installing the sewers.
Trumbull County commissioners will meet 10:30 a.m. today at the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Office, 842 Youngstown Kingsville Road, Vienna.