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Sat, Oct 25, 2014 06:11 AM
Issue of October 22, 2014
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Regional Sewer DIstrict considers next move

May 28, 2014 | 10:36 AM

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District board last week discussed the progress of its two major projects, New Salisbury and Lanesville, and also looked to the future for its next endeavor.

Board consultant and engineer Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering, said the next two focuses for the district will be the North Harrison school campus and some residential areas in and around New Salisbury that have system failures. One such failing system is in a multi-family facility on the south side of the railroad tracks along Corydon Junction Road, near the Hastings facility (former Child Craft).

"The health department ordered them to pump and haul," Woosley said.

Board president Tom Tucker said there's another failing system on the other end of Corydon Junction Road near the old schoolhouse apartments.

"His system is failing, and he'd like to hook on," Tucker said.

Woosley said a plan will be created to hook up everyone in that area, including the old schoolhouse apartments.

Woosley said the New Salisbury business corridor project is basically complete and businesses are now in the process of hooking up their buildings.

"Things are moving right along and closing out well," he said.

As for the Lanesville project, Woosley said he expects to gain approval from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management and possibly have construction approval before the board's next meeting in mid-June.

In other business, the board continued its discussion about the possibility of Harrison County being designated as a MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) by IDEM.

The MS4 distinction, which includes regulations for stormwater management/water quality, is triggered when an area reaches a certain population density level. According to the census, only a small sliver of Harrison County near Georgetown qualifies for MS4, so the county sent a letter about 10 years ago, following the 2000 census results, asking to opt out of the MS4.

Now, the district board and the county board of commissioners are in the process of doing the same thing.

"I'm in favor of opening dialogue and being responsive," district consultant Rob Huckaby, from Stantec, said. "I work with this program every day, but I'm not a big believer in its applicability in Harrison County."

Huckaby said Harrison County officials can demonstrate to IDEM that they're proactive when it comes to stormwater and runoff.

Floyd County is under the MS4 designation, and board member Jim Klinstiver said the farmers in Floyd County find it to be burdensome.

Commissioner George Ethridge said officials at IDEM made it clear they were not in a hurry to put the MS4 distinction on Harrison County.

"If they put it off indefinitely, it'd be fine with us," he said. "She's (IDEM representative) aware it's a very small portion of the county."

Ethridge said the county would be over-regulated if it had to follow MS4 guidelines.

"Hopefully, we'll get another waiver like the last census," he said. "The amount of money they're (counties under MS4) spending is phenomenal."

Ethridge said one county spends as much as $50 million per year on the mandatory program.

"There's nothing good to be said about MS4," Gary Davis, board treasurer, said.

Ethridge said at some point down the road the MS4 distinction will hit the county.

"When it comes, not if it comes, it will be massive," he said.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    June 02, 2014 | 01:25 PM

    I am a New Salisbury resident who lives across from the old schoolhouse apartments and I would like to make a few comments about this article.

    First - regarding those apartments..."His system is failing, and he'd like to hook on." Why is the owner of those apartments being given any consideration? ... There is no sewer line in the world that will help those apartments.

    Second - I have contacted the Harrison County Regional Sewer District several times over the last few months asking for any information on this project (cost, timing, etc,) and have been given no answers. This is extremely frustrating.

    Lastly - regarding stormwater runoff, the road in front of my house floods every time there is a heavy rain, causing backup in the ditches on both sides of the road and impeding the water runoff from my property (and my neighbors' property). If an MS4 distinction would alleviate that, I'm all for it.

    Chris Lincoln
  2. print email
    June 02, 2014 | 02:59 PM

    When will the residents know how much it will cost to hook on to the sewer system and the details involved in completing the process?

    Concerned Resident
  3. print email
    June 04, 2014 | 11:00 AM

    The person referenced with "his system is failing, and he'd like to hook on" is not the owner of the apartment complex, he owns a house across from it.

    The only way residents will be able to hook on to the system is by getting together with neighbors and then petitioning the sewer board to provide service. Then costs and specifics would be ironed out from there.

    Ross Schulz
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