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Corydon seeks $2 million for sewer system improvements

Corydon officials asked Monday for a $2 million contribution from Harrison County’s riverboat funds to expand the town’s wastewater treatment and collection capabilities.
Town Council President Fred Cammack said a new sewage treatment plant on Big Indian Creek east of the new YMCA construction site would allow service to the proposed Harrison County Hospital site northwest of town. The lack of service has plagued the project and caused hospital officials to look for alternative solutions.
Corydon’s proposed facility upgrade would increase service in the north, including any future increases at the Harrison County Industrial Park, Wal-Mart Supercenter or Oxford Automotive plant.
‘The new plant … will put Corydon in good shape to recruit a high-volume industrial user,’ the architect’s report says.
The project would cost a total of $3.2 million, $1 million of which the town could invest in the project without raising rates. Cammack said, ‘We have a $4 million utility debt already, and because of our senior citizens, we are reluctant to take on any more debt.’
The present sewage treatment facility, southwest of town at the confluence of Big and Little Indian creeks, is operating at 80-percent capacity, which allows for few new customers to be served.
‘One hundred and seventy-four homes and/or businesses could be added to the current plant, which would put capacity at 90 percent,’ said the town’s consultant, David Dahl, president of Midwestern Engineers Inc. At that capacity, Dahl said the state could impose a ban on new customers.
The project also calls for short-term improvements to the existing plant that would cost about $620,000. Those improvements would include new lift stations to increase capacity.
Commissioner Jim Heitkemper asked when the town wanted to proceed with the project.
‘Yet this winter,’ Cammack said, adding that construction could begin in about nine months. ‘It would be 1-1/2 to 2 years before the project is completed,’ he said.
The commissioners took no action on the request, noting that the results of a county-wide study should be complete soon. That study, said commission chair J.R. Eckart, could provide the information needed to develop sewer districts, in areas where warranted, not one sewage treatment plant or one sewer district to handle the entire county.
‘Some thinking is that this might be a good place for the first sewer district,’ said Commissioner James Goldman.
‘We will take it under advisement and keep it in the mix,’ Eckart said.
In other matters, the commissioners:
‘ Approved hiring Douglas Robson of Corydon to replace Tom Powers as director of the Harrison County Lifelong Learning. Powers resigned several months ago to take a position with the state Republican Party. Robson, a corporate attorney who was with the General Motors Corp. in Los Angeles, is a Harrison County native, who recently returned home with his wife, the former Kathy Thomas of Crandall, and their two children, Zac, 18, and Katie, 15.
‘ Heard a request for $563,919 in riverboat funds for the South Harrison Athletic Association to build a youth athletic complex at South Harrison Park, south of Elizabeth. The complex would include four ball fields that would serve some 300 youth in T-ball, softball and soccer.
Eckart said the commissioners have had a number of similar requests for non-profit agencies’ projects they think would be more appropriately funded by the Foundation.
‘Using funds to support non-profit’ projects could bring in dozens of non-profit agencies with requests, Eckart said.