It's been more than a decade in the works, but Union County commissioners and the Union County Engineer's Office are ready to eliminate unsanitary conditions in the unincorporated villages of Raymond and Peoria.

It's been more than a decade in the works, but Union County commissioners and the Union County Engineer's Office are ready to eliminate unsanitary conditions in the unincorporated villages of Raymond and Peoria.

The commissioners will hold public hearings to discuss the proposed Liberty Regional Treatment Facility and Raymond Peoria Sanitary Sewer Collection System at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, in the Liberty Township Community Building, 21463 state Route 347 in Raymond.

The unsanitary conditions were caused by failing septic systems in Raymond and Peoria, a condition first noted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in the late 1990s.

Under the new proposal, wastewater will be collected in the unincorporated village of Raymond, conveyed by force main to the unincorporated village of Peoria, where it will be combined with wastewater collected there and treated at the wastewater treatment plant in Peoria.

Engineer Jeff Stauch estimates that roughly 185 dwellings will benefit from the $5.14 million project. Groundbreaking is scheduled later in August with the project completion date set for February 2014. Stauch said property owners' connection to the system should be completed by August 2014.

State law requires all properties within 200 feet of a gravity sewer are required to connect, regardless of the operating condition or age of a current septic system.

Stauch estimated a residential property owner's monthly sewer bill at $54.50.

The "tap fee" (or connection fee) for owners with income above Department of Housing and Urban Development limits is estimated at $3,500. (The 2011 HUD limit was $61,700 for a family of four.)

The tap fee can be paid in a lump sum or an owner can be assessed on property taxes for 10 years.

The tap fee will be waved for property owners whose income is below 80 percent of HUD's Section 8 limits. Residents must present a 1040 income tax return form when they apply to the engineer's department for a waiver.

Stauch estimated another $2,500 for pipe installation to the sewer and for septic abandonment.

Additional costs could arise for homeowners, he said, if changes are necessary inside a property owner's dwelling to make the plumbing compatible with the main sewer line.

The morning and evening hearings will explain in detail the project scope, sanitary sewer monthly charges, service boundaries, estimated costs and special assessments for the benefitted properties.

The estimated cost, tentative assessments, sewer charges, plans and specifications for the project are available for the public to examine at the Union County engineer's office, 233 West St., Marysville.