A federal financial package made available for construction of needed sewage treatment improvements is behind the county releasing the subdivision from a construction moratorium
A half million dollar loan along with a $341,000 grant is behind the lifting of a building moratorium that the county placed on Ochoco West about ten years ago. Last week the county court voted to allow construction to begin in the subdivision.
The grant and a $495,000 loan financial package from the USDA Rural Utilities Service will go to improving the subdivision's wastewater system. The loan will be repaid in 30 years at slightly less than five percent interest.
Ochoco West Sanitary District serves 260 lots in the subdivision located northwest of Prineville. The district entered into a mutual agreement order in 1977 with the state Department of Environmental Quality over three issues: the facility was not large enough for any new connections, leaking in the facility was at an unacceptable rate, and there was not enough access to the sewage line.
"The USDA financial package will help maintain a wastewater system that meets state requirements," Lynn Schoessler, Rural Development's state director said, "one that assures a healthy environment for the residents of the subdivision."
The proposed improvements to the wastewater system include construction of a 20,000-gallon reinforced concrete septic tank; a reconstructed and lined primary lagoon; a lined effluent holding pond and 5,400-galon serpentine chlorinating chamber. The new system will also include an irrigation system to dispose of treated effluent on pasture grass on district owned land adjacent to the pond site.
County Judge Scott Cooper said the lifting of the moratorium will take effect with the start of construction of the wastewater system improvements. That construction is anticipated to be in March of next year. Having the moratorium lifted by the county has the full support of the state Department of Environmental Quality, Cooper added.