The city of Springfield will be applying for a $500,000 grant in an effort to get a section of the city off septic tanks and onto the city’s sewer system.
City council has given the green light to seek the state Department of Community Affairs’ community development block grant, and the deadline to submit the application is Thursday.
Should the city be awarded the grant, it will be able to provide sewer service to about 20 homes in an economically disadvantaged area north of Laurel Street between Zettler Road, Highway 21 and the railroad tracks.
“It’s an area that has never had sewer,” City Manager Brett Bennett said.
Estimates put the cost at running the sewer lines to those homes at around $456,000, Bennett said. The city has sewer lines nearby and would have to cross the rail tracks to get to those homes. But that work shouldn’t take long, Bennett said, if the city is awarded the grant.
The city will be holding a public hearing today at city hall at 5 p.m. Holding the meeting is one of the steps required in applying for the grant.
Residents of that area have approached the city a few times in the past about getting sewer service.
“But they haven’t been able to get it done,” Bennett said.
Residents came back to the city council at a meeting in early February to ask about it again.
“I was pleased to hear them say they couldn’t complain about much if they weren’t involved in the process,” Bennett said. “And I’ve been working on this ever since.”
The Coastal Regional Commission is assisting the city in writing the grant application, and the city could hear whether it gets the grant in August.