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RSD, Lanesville discuss project ownership

September 26, 2012 | 09:56 AM

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District board last Wednesday morning discussed the potential Lanesville interchange project, specifically, who would own and maintain the main sewer line leading from the interchange area to the town of Lanesville's system that is already in place.

County officials Councilman Gordon Pendleton and Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes, in previous county meetings, expressed interest in the county owning the line, through the sewer district.

Officials also discussed the idea that the county buy and takeover Lanesville's wastewater plant, but that was quickly squashed by Lanesville officials.

Plant manager and district board member Rusty Sizemore said it's the only thing going for the town that actually makes money. And, town councilmember Herb Schneider said they'll be done repaying the debt on the plant in 2017 at which time they hope to lower residents' rates.

District board member J.R. Eckart said he thought the county should own the line because it would relieve maintenance obligation from Lanesville and would give the district the opportunity to serve more people in the future.

"That would put the burden on us, wouldn't it?" Bill Byrd, Milltown board representative, asked.

Eckart said that's what the sewer district was created for, to take care of such projects.

"We've never thought about not owning the line," Schneider said.

Eckart said the main goal is to keep a working relationship with the town of Lanesville then find the simplest method to complete the project.

The district and town of Lanesville have requested the funding for the project, about $1.6 million, from the county.

It has been passed from the commissioners to the county council, but the council has requested more information.

"Lanesville itself wouldn't be received (by the county) without the regional sewer district," Eckart said.

Sizemore said Lanesville does not want to become "landlocked" by other services the way it is currently with water service. He said the town is stuck with the rates they have because its customer base can't be increased because water companies — Ramsey, Edwardsville and South Harrison — have the town surrounded.

"We've got a two-mile fringe (leading to the interchange) to protect us from that happening again," he said.

The district agreed to create an interlocal agreement with Lanesville to satisfy the county council. It will then approach the council again for funding at its first meeting in October.

In other business last week, Sizemore informed the board that Lanesville received a grant for a second clarifier for the wastewater treatment plant. They accepted the grant Friday.

The sewer district board's next meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 8:30 a.m. at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.

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