Township makes request for sewer units

By David Fleet
Atlas Twp. — On Monday, the township board of trustees voted 4-0 in a special meeting to request 800 REUs as part of the new preliminary sewer master plan. Trustee Pat Major was absent with notice.
In June, the township voted to support the Kearsley Creek Interceptor (or KCI) North project. The $33 million project, projected to begin later this year, will provide public sewer service to some areas and add sewer capacity to other communities where it may be insufficient.
The interceptor will be funded by portions of North Oakland and Southern Genesee counties with the balance divided over other communities including the Village of Goodrich, Atlas, Grand Blanc and Davison townships. The REUs or Residential Equivalent Units are used to calculate sewer and water costs, based on usage.
The cost of the REUs for both the Goodrich and Atlas Township has not been determined. However, now that the number of needed REUs has been set, the engineers can build the sewer capacity to accommodate. A cost will come later in the project.
Funding for the many communities including Atlas Township will possibly be from the state revolving fund. The cost on the project will not be set until the Genesee County Drain Office makes the application.
“The REUS are not for large tracts of land developments,” said Kautman-Jones, township supervisor. “The REUs would be for areas around bodies of water and we’ve had two homeowners associations that have contacted the township for sewer support.”
The preliminary estimates were 500 REUs for the township however, that number was later considered too low. The Genesee County Drain Office estimated 666 REUs plus or minus just to service areas in the township they determine problematic with regard to current septics.
Added to the REU equation were the smaller parcels of about one-half to one-acre platted in the 36 sections of the township during the 60s and 70s, said Kautman-Jones. If new construction is within the defined district sewer area they will be able to hook on to the system. That area will be defined by the soil composition, past history or past septic failures.
“Everyone who taps into the system will have to pay for it,” she added. “For some residents the cost of connecting to a sewer system is extremely difficult to comprehend,” she said. “But for people that are on the edge of septic (failure) where they are consistently pumping out the tank or paying for field repairs made (it’s needed). Septic systems are not a forever fix.”

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