Legacy funding to replace septic systems

Mille Lacs County commissioners have approved the awarding of bids, to be paid for with state funds, to replace septic systems in the county that are an “imminent public health threat.”

Last year the county received about $47,000 in Legacy Fund money (derived from the 3/8 of a percent tax approved by state voters in 2008) and six systems, all of them in violation of statutes, were replaced.

This time around the county applied for fund and received a Clean Water Legacy grant of about $292,000.

People were asked to apply for the money, with state-mandated income guidelines the determining factor as long as it was determined the systems are a public health threat.

There were 23 who qualified and the average  bid approved at the Sept. 4 meeting was $9,023.

There were 13 contractors who bid on the systems and six of them had low bids on the 23 systems.

“And I think we’ll be able to add four or five others next spring,” said Michele McPherson, director of the county’s Land Services Office said Monday.

And now, McPherson said, the county is advertising for another round of a Legacy Fund grant to replace more septic systems, perhaps about 11.

The projects for which bids were approved last week will be completed by Sept. 1, 2013.

Commissioner Dan Whitcomb asked at the Sept. 4 board meeting if applicants are required to contribute money to the replacement septic systems.

McPherson answered that they are not.