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.