HUD denies grant application to replace lines running homes with new ones under the streets

BARBARA SHERMAN - King City City Manager Mike Weston points at a map of King City, where the sanitary sewer lines under the streets and the connections to the homes are marked in red, but the Garden Villas section is blank because sewer lines run under the homes instead of the streets. The city is working to get a grant to help pay for new lines to serve the area.A map of King City's sanitary sewer system shows red lines throughout the city where all the pipes lie except for one blank area in the Garden Villas neighborhood.

Those homes are connected to their own pipes that run under the townhouses, and the enclave in southwestern King City will have to continue coping for the immediate future with 50-year-old sewer lines that are sure to fail sooner or later. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently denied the city's grant application for 2018-19 Community Development Block Grant infrastructure community development funding.

City Manager Mike Weston explained to the City Council at its Sept. 20 meeting that the 2010 U.S. Census data included factors that disqualified the project for HUD funds.

The Census district that includes Garden Villas encompasses Edgewater on the Tualatin and other nearby developments, and "the disqualifying factor was financial data derived from the U.S. Census," Weston emailed the Regal Courier.

"We would need to do a survey to demonstrate that the area in question (Garden Villas) is unique to the district, and that the area in question qualifies for funding," he added. "Therefore, in order to determine if this particular area would qualify for HUD money, we would need to conduct our own survey and limit the area to those homes immediately affected by the project.

"Depending on the survey outcome, the area might have a chance at a grant to help construct the public works infrastructure, but as the district is today, they would not qualify for CDBG funds without an additional survey."

The city was seeking $250,000 in its grant application to cover the trenching and sewer lines, and the city would kick in another $100,000 that is already budgeted. Once the community sewer lines are constructed, if the older lines fail in the future, homeowners would only need to pay for a connection to their home.

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