Walker Budget Ends Program That Helps People Update Septic Systems

Close To 500 Low-Income People Have Applied To Grant Program This Year

Darron Bergenheier (CC-BY-SA)

Low-income property owners would not be able to receive financial assistance to replace their aging septic systems under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget.

Property owners who make under $32,000 a year can apply for grants through the Wisconsin Fund that help pay to replace their failing septic tanks. The governor’s budget, however, eliminates the grant program.

“It’s one of the best funding sources for low-income people to replace these systems that are an environmental concern and a health concern,” said Terri Dopp-Paukstat, president of the Wisconsin County Code Administrators.

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Dopp-Paukstat said the grant money goes toward replacing older systems that are shown to contaminate groundwater or drinking water. She said close to 500 people have already submitted applications for assistance this year.

“They would not get funding or reimbursement if this budget were to pass the way that it’s written now,” she said.

Last year, the program awarded around $2.3 million to 654 low-income property owners.