Clintonville receives state subsidies for pipes

CLINTONVILLE (WLUK) -- People in Clintonville are among those who can now get help from a state grant to deal with lead pipes in their homes.

Gov. Scott Walker's office announced Friday that the Department of Natural Resources has reached financial agreements with Racine, Clintonville and Florence through the agency's lead pipe replacement program. The program provides loans that don't need to be paid back.

"There are a few lead and then the rest are plastic or galvanized steel," said Carl Krenke of Clintonville.

Krenke has lived in his Clintonville home for five years. He says while most of his pipes have been replaced over the years, he still has some concerns when it comes to lead pipes.

"My wife doesn't drink the water, she always drinks bottled water, but I don't like the bottle, I always drink out of the tap," said Krenke.

Thanks to a $310,000 grant from the state, residents in Clintonville will be eligible for help to replace lead pipes.

"What we're looking at is trying to get that lead of the system because there is some health effects that go along with it, with long term consumption of the water and stuff," said Dave Tichinel, the water and wastewater manager for the city.

Tichinel explained the city will pay $2,000 per-home to replace the pipes.

"We're estimating about 140 homes that still have the lead from the city shut off to the meter inside the home," said Tichinel.

In order to receive the grant, the city had to pass an ordinance.

"From now on if you have lead pipes in your home, per this ordinance they have to be replaced. So it is in the best interest of the homeowner," explained Mayor Lois Bressette.

Bressette explained the grant expires in three years.

"Once that funding is gone, then they will have to be responsible for that, for the total replacement," said Bressette.

The city explained if homeowners are unsure if there are lead pipes in their home, to call the city so they can send someone to examine the pipes.

"It's just more or less scratching on your pipe in the basement to see if it looks like a penny. If it looks like a penny it is not lead pipe, and if a magnet doesn't stick to it, it is lead pipe," explained Bressette.

While Clintonville is just starting this process, the program is already underway in Green Bay.

Green Bay received $500,000 toward replacing lead pipes.

So far, the city said under the program, lead pipes in 170 homes will be replaced.

The city of Racine will receive $500,000. Homeowners will be eligible for rebates of up to $2,500 for work on their properties.

Florence will get $325,000 to replace about 156 private lines as well as lines that serve two day cares and two schools. The town will pay contractors 90 percent of the cost.

For more information on The Lead Service Line Replacement Funding program click here .

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