Franklin County Government Center

One Franklin County resident is hoping county commissioners will use some of the $20 million the county is getting from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to help lower sewer bills.

Kathy Rust made her request at a public hearing Tuesday. She particularly wants to see some relief for residents in the Brush Creek Sewer District “because they are paying an exorbitant amount of money for treating their sewage,” she said.

The area is hit by high bills from both Public Water Supply District No. 3 and Brush Creek, Rust said. She said her daughter, who lives by herself, paid more than $100 for water and sewer last month.

“She used less than 800 gallons of water,” Rust said. “The talking has been going on for 20 years, and it would be nice if some relief could be given to these folks, not necessarily just the Brush Creek people but the eastern part of Franklin County. The eastern part of Franklin County is not going to develop if we do not start addressing the sewage issue.”

Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker said after the meeting that the county would consider using some of the money on sewer issues if the expenditure is allowed. 

The county hopes to get the “full perspective” on what it can spend the money on soon, Brinker said.

In February, Brush Creek’s board of directors, made up of the three county commissioners, voted to add a flat fee of $25.28 on each district customer’s bill. Brush Creek serves 361 residential and 71 commercial customers, as well as eight government facilities or churches.

That increase came as a result of the city of Pacific increasing the sewer rate it charges Brush Creek to $4.14 per 1,000 gallons from $1.92 per 1,000 gallons.

The city determined the new rate was needed to comply with regulations and to help pay for a $3.3 million upgrade.

Brush Creek also has been discussing building a $7.6 million sewer treatment plant to help make it independent from Pacific.

Rust was the only member of the public to speak at the hearing.

The hearing is required so the county can accept $20 million in federal funds into its budget.