A $20 million sewer project could be on its way to Hubbard and Liberty Townships.

21 News spoke with Hubbard Trustee, Rick Hernandez who tells us this project is far from a new idea and was sat on for about 30 years simply because officials weren't interested.

Hernandez tells us Ohio EPA and Trumbull County entered a consent 30 years ago, but the project stalled ever since. However, Hernandez says former Trumbull County Commissioner, Frank Fuda expressed desire for this project to be completed before he retires. 

From there, the ball got rolling on the project. A meeting was conducted with Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough to discuss the project.

About $250,000 was used for an initial study conducted on 1,100 homes and businesses within a low-to-moderate-income area of Hubbard Township and some portions of Liberty Township.

Hernandez tells us this project will address the issue of sewage running into ditches outside of homes in certain areas of Hubbard and Liberty Townships rather than sewers or even septic tanks.

He says this project would not only be healthier for local families and the environment, but also help with property values, as the water will now be going into sanitary sewers rather than septic tanks or ditches.

Currently, a study is being conducted by AECOM to determine the overall project scope and cost, as well as the most cost-effective means of financing the project.

Hernandez tells 21 News $2 million needs to be delegated towards AECOM's design study, which will come from Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grants. The deadline for this study to be completed in August of 2023.

Hernandez says Trumbull County plans to break this project into "as many parts as necessary" to be able to apply multiple rounds of grants from OPWC, as well as Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

This would reduce the resultant Water Pollution Loan Control Fund 0% debt to an affordable threshold for the low-to-moderate income population who will be required to retire the long-term project debt through monthly capital charges attached to their sanitary sewer bills.