Sharon wins $500,000 grant for sanitary sewer work

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SHARON—When a village of 1,600 has to upgrade its sanitary sewer system, residents expect to see their water rates—and their taxes—take off and never return.

Sharon residents were just granted a windfall that will make positive difference on their tax bills.

Last week, Sharon Village President Diana Dykstra received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Administration notifying her that the village had won a $500,000 grant to cover part of the cost of a sanitary sewer upgrade.

In a village where the annual tax levy is close to $1 million, that amount is significant, Dykstra said.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the number of people who came to the public hearing,” Dykstra said. “To have a lot of public participation shows that our residents are engaged in local government.”

The public hearing, which as held as part of the grant application process, took place in September.

Most villages Sharon's size usually connect to large municipalities. However, Sharon is so far from incorporated areas that it would costs "millions" to run pipe to the newest plant, Dykstra said.

The grant will be used as part of a $1 million project that will line all the sanitary sewer system pipes, replace bad sewer mains and do some upgrades to the village sewage plant.

The Department of Natural Resources sent a letter to the village to inform it of needed upgrades.

The village's sewer pipes are aging, and ground water and rainwater are trickling into the system. All the water that doesn't need to be treated is running through the sewage plant. The reduction in flow will help the village delay plant expansion.

The work, which can be conducted during winter, is expected to start as soon as plans are drawn up. Cedar Corporation, the village's engineering firm, will oversee the work.

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