By Anna Lothson
The sewer backup prevention grant program is still too popular among Oak Park residents.
The program, established to provide financial assistance to homeowners who install systems to protect their homes from sewer backup during a heavy rain, helps offset expenses for residents to modifying plumbing systems to prevent backflow when village sewers are at capacity.
While the first batch of grants was awarded with an income restriction, the second-batch offered the same 100-percent match, or 50 percent of the costs, to all residents.
Thirty-seven applicants were eligible the first round, but the second round brought in 95 applications. Of that, 73 applicants were approved and 22 were left on the waiting list. The list opened June 1 and closed at the end of the month.
Tammie Grossman, housing programs manager, said the program ran out of the $225,000 the same day applications could be submitted. Eligible homeowners could be allocated up to $3,500 for installing either an overhead sewer system or a backflow prevention valve system depending on how much was spent for the equipment.
Grossman said the housing department will seek more funding from the village board in the fall and if approved, it would be placed in the 2013 budget.
The program works on a reimbursement basis and those who qualified for the grant must have the work completed, provide records of proper permits and inspection, and proof of payment before receiving the grant money.