Pacific County, Craft3 to offer septic system repair loans

By: Mike Williams - Jan 07, 2015
Source: The Daily Astorian

Pacific County and Craft3 will soon team up to help home owners with failing septic systems make necessary repairs.

A low-interest loan program will be available to help homeowners get their on-site sewage systems back up to code. A program using funds from the Oyster Reserve Program has been in place for about 10 years, but it applies only to septic systems right around Willapa Bay, said Faith Taylor-Eldred, director of the Department of Community Development.

This new program will apply to systems anywhere in Pacific County. It’s not set up yet. The county is still working out the details with Craft3.

Once the program is in place, homeowners with sub-optimal or failing systems will start the process at the county, Taylor-Eldred said. They’ll be referred to Craft3 to apply for the loan.

The county doesn’t have the resources to administer the loan, she said.

Craft3 has made this type of loans in other communities, said David Oser, chief financial officer.

“That’s really the kind of partnership that works well for everyone,” he said. “If consumers had to borrow this money on their own, it would be more expensive in fees and interest.”

It doesn’t rely on the homeowner’s equity, he added.

The program has about $345,000 available, said Meagan McNelly, DCD executive assistant. $172, 675 comes from a grant from the Washington Department of Ecology Centennial Clean Water Fund. The rest is matching funds from the county and Craft3.

The grant expires in June 2017 or when the money runs out, she added.

The money must be used to repair the system or hook up to a municipal sewer system. Some properties with on-site sewage are in areas served by municipal systems, Taylor-Eldred said. Any failing system within 200 feet of municipal sewer is required to hook up to that system, she added.

The county requires an inspection of on-site sewage systems every time a property is sold. Taylor-Eldred said 6 percent of the systems failed the inspection in 2013. The failure rate ranges 6 to 8 percent, she added.