By Jay Mullen

Whitehall village residents with low to moderate incomes are eligible to qualify for grant money that would pay for sewer line upgrades. Mayor Phil Smith said that there is still plenty of money dedicated to the Sewer Lateral Project.

Villagers will qualify based on their income but will not receive the grant money directly. The money goes to the village.

If a resident applies and meets the requirements for the grant funding, the work will be done at no charge.

“It comes out of the grant money…it’s a disbursement through the grant process,” Smith said. “We would put in the applications for eligible residents and if they meet the qualifications then they can get their sewer replaced.”

Mayor Phil Smith

The main purpose of this project is to “remove and redirect” sump pumps that are emptying into the village sewer system. The removal and redirection will get the runoff water out of the sewer system.

Smith said there were initially about 55 homeowners who filled out an initial response citing their interest in the grant, but after a follow-up survey they were either not interested or did not meet the requirements.

There are nine households that currently meet the guidelines.

“We are ready to start constructing on those properties in the next week or so,” said Smith.

The work that is going to be done is known as a lateral replacement program. The program involves the sewer lines that run from a resident’s house that taps into the main sewer line.

Landlords are also eligible to qualify for grant funds, but it would be based on the income of the tenants within the house, not the landlord’s.

With only nine households getting their sewers replaced at this time, there is still a lot of money left for qualifying residents.

“That’s only going to account for maybe $50,000 to $60,000 of the funds that are available. We have another $275,000, $300,000 worth of funds that are available for qualifying residents,” Smith said.

Because of the money still available Smith is encouraging residents to apply for the grant.

“We are trying to urge them to, if you want to get your sewer upgrade now is the time to do it,” he said. “You could get it done for nothing if they meet the guidelines.”

Anyone who thinks they meet the income guidelines should contact the village office at 518-499-0871 and request an application.

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