Contractors sought for septic program

LISBON – The Columbiana County Board of Health will be looking for contractors to solve the problems of failing septic tanks again this year.

The Home Sewage Treatment Improvement Program, which is being funded through the Water Pollution Control Loan Funding (WPCLF) by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, will solve septic issues for 16 owner-occupied homes in Columbiana County.

Lori Barnes, environmental director, said the 16 failing septic tank projects will be bid out in groups of two. They include homes from across the county. Depending on the home owner’s financial need, the program is paying for all but 15 percent or more of the cost of the septic projects.

“This program helps the whole community,” Health Commissioner Wesley Vins said, “Neighbors, folks down stream. It’s a great program.”

Without the program, Vins points out a lot of these failing septic tanks would not get done. The family would not be able to afford to fix them, leaving them to continue to deteriorate.

Executive Director Carol Bretz and her staff at the Community Action Agency were credited for prequalifying the homeowners to find those whose financial need allows them to utilize the program. Barnes said one family is on the wait list.

Barnes said any registered contractors can bid for the program. A meeting will be held at 10 a.m. May 6 at the board offices on state Route 45 north of Lisbon to go over the septic repair projects. The lowest and best bids will receive the projects.

Last year, a similar program funded by $160,000 in WPCLF money saw only a few contractors compete for the bids. Vins noted despite only a few contractors, 17 septic issues were solved by work done well.

Bids from interested contractors will be accepted until May 15. The bid packet is available on the health department’s website

In another matter, the health department will be holding a skin cancer screening on May 7. Contact the health department for additional information.