The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved changes to the county’s subsurface sewage treatment systems, or septic system, program May 25 and agreed to use $500,000 from the county’s fund balance to support the program.

The program, carried out in partnership with the Community Development Agency, provides low-interest loans to residents in need of replacing non-compliant SSTS. The county serves as a local lender in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s AgBMP loan program. The loan payments are collected as special assessments on property tax statements. Washington County has more than 18,000 SSTS.

Demand for the program has been high and has led to a waiting list in recent years. In addition, opportunity exists to expand eligibility of the program to include both sewer hookups, and well improvements.

The changes will update the rules that govern the program, and expand the criteria for eligible projects.

At the same time, the board agreed to transfer $500,000 from the county’s fund balance into the program budget.

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