Elkhart Truth Logo
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stormwater board drafting new policy to help nonprofits

The Elkhart County Stormwater Board is working on a new policy that could allow nonprofit groups to join a cost share program for to help pay for failing septic systems.

Posted on Feb. 25, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 25, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.

GOSHEN — There are still a few questions that need to be answered before Elkhart County leaders will allow nonprofit groups to apply for an assistance program that has traditionally been limited to individual homeowners.

The Elkhart County Stormwater Board is writing a new policy that would open the county’s cost share program for failing septic systems to nonprofit organizations. The program is geared toward eliminating illicit discharge by helping property owners pay for new septic equipment.

In the past, the cost share program has been restricted to homeowners, but in November the stormwater board was approached by a nonprofit organization for assistance. The board approved $10,000 for the Rose Home, a recovery program for women with substance abuse problems, to replace its faulty septic system.

The illicit discharge cost share program helps homeowners in the county based on their income. Applicants who earn $50,000 or less annually are eligible for the county to pay up $5,000 or half of the cost to replace a septic system. Property owners who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 can have up to 25 percent, or a maximum of $2,500, of the cost covered through the program.

The cost share program is funded through the county’s stormwater fees. Homeowners in the county pay an annual fee of $15, and property owners with non-residential land are charged $15 for every 3,600 square feet of hard surface.

The cost share program for nonprofit groups will mirror the requirements of individual homeowners, stormwater board members said.

“The questions that I raised were whether you would want to limit this to residential uses versus commercial business uses, in other words a parsonage or a house or a church that a nonprofit owns,” said Craig Buche, the board’s attorney. “And do you want to tie this to some kind of income standards which your residential policy is based on? And third, is there a dollar limit on how much you’re going to provide?”.

While the policy is still being written, stormwater board members suggested restricting assistance to nonprofit groups with residential facilities, requiring organizations to provide accurate and current financial data and limiting the total amount of assistance to $10,000.

“This is not written in stone,” said Blake Doriot, stormwater board member. “That’s just something to put down that we can look at.”

The stormwater board is expected to review a draft of the new cost share program policy in March.

 A 15-year-old boy, seen sitting on a stretcher center, who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui is loaded into an ambulance at Kahului Airport in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii Sunday afternoon, April 20, 2014. The boy survived the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen, FBI and airline officials said. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport with no identification.
Posted 12 minutes ago
By STEVEN DUBOIS Associated Press
Posted 42 minutes ago
Back to top ^