The City of Clintonville learned Friday that they are one of three cities in the state to receive financial assistance to replace lead service lines. Governor Scott Walker announced along with Racine and Florence, Clintonville is set to receive $310,000 to replace about 140 lead lines.
“The grant was to help homeowners replace lead lines from the property line into their house to the meter,” said Clintonville Water and Wastewater Manager Dave Tichinel. “It’s going to help them financially to get rid of lead and we’re giving a $2,000 rebate per customer throughout the city.”
Homeowners will contract with plumbers from an approved list and upon completion of the work, the city will pay the plumbers directly on behalf of the homeowners.
The grant was initiated by the DNR following a decision by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to allow the state greater flexibility in allocating loan funds for water infrastructure projects.
Tichinel says by securing the grant, it now gives homeowners incentive to get their old lines replaced.
“When you go and try to tell people that they have to replace their lines and pay for it, the grant actually gave us a little bit more bite to help get people to do it, knowing there is a rebate to get it done quicker,” Tichinel said.
The money is earmarked to be spent only on replacing the lead service lines and cannot be spent elsewhere.
Although there was not an urgent need to have the lines replaced, it’s better to have them replaced sooner rather than later, which has been an ongoing project for the city.
“We have been doing it over the years, getting the lead out of the ground,” Tichinel explained. “As we come across them, this is giving us a bigger incentive to actually inspect [homeowners’] lines and help them find out where they are at. They’re actually being very proactive in letting us in to find out if they have lead or not.”
About 74 percent of the city has already completed replacing their pipes, but for those that have not done so already, they need only to make an appointment by contacting the Clintonville City Hall. From there they will come out and inspect your lines, which Tichinel says is a very easy process.