Dagsboro’s new central water system is ready to go, and town residents are starting to hire plumbers to come install the hookups. They will need to do so before the one-year grace period expires, or incur the rather hefty impact fee (nearly $3,000).
But even the hookups aren’t cheap — Sussex County Community Development and Housing’s Al Phillips estimated costs between $800 and 1,200, depending on the depth of each property owner’s front yard.
However, Phillips has grant funding available to help defray those costs, for residents who meet certain criteria. And the guidelines have become a little more lenient, since March.
Then, Phillips informed residents of household income eligibility guidelines starting at $28,500 for a single person, etc. Those ceilings have lifted a bit, and are now:
• Single person household, less than $30,850
• Two-person, less than $35,250
• Three, less than $39,650
• Four, less than $44,100, and so on
Qualified applicants must be property owners and permanent residents of Sussex County, and their taxes must be current.
If they meet these criteria, Phillips said the grant money should cover 100 percent of the hookup costs.
He said he would need the plumbers to register with his program as well, and advised residents to start calling Community Development and Housing as soon as possible, at 856-7777.
Phillips said he hadn’t received a great deal of response, as yet. “But I would think a lot of people would qualify — based on what I’m paid,” he quipped. “A single person, $30,850, that’s making pretty good money.”
He said it was typical for people to procrastinate, and admitted the program was not linked to the one-year grace period. Still, funding is not unlimited — Phillips said they had money to help approximately 75 households, maybe a few more, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Residents will need to clear their plumber with the town (Phillips said he could help with that, too), and once the town signs off, Artesian will move forward with meter installation.
Artesian will run an initial pressure test, to make sure there aren’t any leaks, and if there are, the company will immediately shut the water off until the property owner gets it fixed.
Once everything’s tight, Artesian will start billing residents $120 a quarter for up to 9,000 gallons, and then $3 per 1,000 gallons after that.
Based on figures from Millsboro, a family of two can expect to use roughly 14,000 gallons per quarter and a $135 quarterly bill, a family of three can expect 22,000 gallons and $159, and so on.