Grant aid available for residential sewer hook ups in Lockwood

2014-04-08T11:10:00Z 2014-04-10T09:28:12Z Grant aid available for residential sewer hook ups in LockwoodBy CLAIR JOHNSON cjohnson@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Qualifying homeowners in Lockwood’s Phase 1 sewer area are eligible for grant funding to hook up to the service, but so far only three homeowners have sought help.

Woody Woods, manager of the Lockwood Water and Sewer District, said this week the district is trying to spread the word through mailings and websites that $450,000 it received from the state’s Community Development Block Grant program is available to help pay for hooking up to the new system. The grant will end by November.

The district will be sending a second round of mailings to residents who may qualify, Woods said. The money is available for moderate- and low-income homeowners in the Phase 1 area.

Woods gave the Yellowstone County commissioners an update on the project during the commission’s Tuesday board meeting.

Three homeowners responded to a first round of notices, which were sent to 35 residents in March, Woods said. Two of the homeowners are located in the Lockwood Superfund Site area, where groundwater is contaminated by solvents. The third homeowner is in a modular home, he said.

The district is trying to get a pool of four or five homeowners for a contractor to perform the work, Woods said. The district ran a request for qualification for contractors and had one contractor submit a proposal for the work, he said.

The cost to hook up to the service can range from $1,500 to $4,000 per house, Woods said.

The grant estimated that about 90 residences would qualify for help but the actual number will be less because some already connected to the system, he said. The district is hoping to hook up about 45 residents through the grant, he said.

The $21 million Phase 1 project brought sewer service to about 400 mostly commercial properties and some residential properties located along Old Hardin Road, the North Frontage Road and near the Johnson Lane interchange.

The district board also is reviewing its options after residents in a proposed Phase 2 area last fall rejected a $12.6 million project to install sewer service.

The board is considering creating smaller Phase 2 areas and assessing each property a flat rate for construction costs, while still taking advantage of grants and loans it secured for the initial proposal. The board also hired a consultant to meet with residents to hear whether there is support for a modified project.

The consultant will present the results of the meetings to board during its regular meeting on Wednesday night. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the district’s office at 1644 Old Hardin Road.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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