STEP Conversion moving forward

The Port Orchard City Council unanimously approved a contract to begin work on STEP Conversions for 22 homes in McCormick Woods at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The contract, costing the city $127,789.39 or $5,808 for each home conversion, came in just slightly above the budget for the project, said Port Orchard City Council Member and Utility Committee Chairman Rob Putaansuu.

A 2012 Budget Amendment allocated $208,000 for both the conversion of 22 homes and 170 pump-outs from the Water Sewer Utility Fund balance.

Known as the McCormick Woods STEP System Retrofit project, city officials are hoping to gradually convert homes in McCormick Woods from the existing septic tank pumping system to a more manageable grinder pump system.

The plan to convert the system has been in place since 2009 because of problems with stench, corrosion and costs with the current STEP system.

Putaansuu said he hopes the first 22 conversions will go smoothly, enticing some of the more than 600 other McCormick Woods homeowners to voluntarily convert their homes to the grinder pump system.

Utility committee members had worried that the cost for conversion would be much higher than what the city had planned for with water and sewer rate hikes in 2009.

“I’m relieved,” Putaansuu said. “We’ll get them converted and more homes will sign up.”

Mark Dorsey, the city’s Public Works Director, said there was no dates set yet for conversions.


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