Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nonprofit gets $10,000 from county’s stormwater fees

A recovery home for women with substance abuse problems will use money from Elkhart County's stormwater fees to replace a failing septic system.
Posted on Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — For the first time a nonprofit organization will be getting some major help with money generated by Elkhart County’s stormwater fees.

The county’s stormwater board approved $10,000 on Monday for the Rose Home to replace its failing septic system. The home, near Kosciusko County, is a recovery program for women with drug and alcohol addictions.

The county’s septic system cost share program has traditionally helped individual homes with up to $5,000 in assistance. The funding for the program comes from the county’s stormwater fees. Homeowners are annually charged a flat fee of $15, and landowners who have non-residential parcels pay $15 for every 3,600 square feet of hard surface.

The replacement of the Rose Home’s system, which includes three large tanks, would cost more than $15,000, according to Harlan Steffen, the organization’s treasurer. Steffen told the board that the cost would be a huge setback for the nonprofit, which has an annual budget of slightly more than $100,000.

“We also get various kinds of grants but just not enough to go around,” Steffen said, noting that grant funding has been declining. “I have to raise about $50,000 a year from private sources to keep this program going.”

The stormwater board plans to amend its cost share program to include standards for nonprofit groups that request assistance.

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