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Water utility gears for $3.85 million expansion in south

South Harrison Water Corp. Friday closed a $3.85 million loan with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program for water-system improvements and expansions near Laconia.
‘We are expanding the production, transmission and storage portions of our water system,’ said Bruce Cunningham, general manger for South Harrison Water. ‘This expansion should meet our needs for at least the next 10 years and will allow us to take care of our existing customers while planning for expected growth in our service area.’
The improvements will not increase customer rates, Cunningham said.
The loan closing at the utility’s corporate office in New Middletown was immediately followed by signing contracts with the low bidders on the three-phase water expansion project.
Phase One includes expanding the South Harrison water treatment plant south of Laconia. It’s 12 years old and can produce one million gallons of treated water per day. It’s near maximum capacity. It will be expanded to two million gallons per day, and the facility will be overhauled.
The low bidder on the $1.1 million treatment plant expansion is Pace Contracting of Jeffersonville.
Phase Two includes installing 6-1/2 miles of 18-inch iron water main from the treatment plant north along Kintner Bottom Road.
The low bidder on the $1.4 million water main job is Mac Construction of New Albany.
Phase Three is the construction of a one-million-gallon elevated water storage tank off East Old Goshen Road near the intersection with Maple Road. The low bidder on the $766,000 water storage tank is Caldwell Tank of Louisville.
David Dahl of Midwestern Engineers is the project engineer. Dan DeVault is the field representative with the USDA Rural Development.
The balance of the loan funds will be used for engineering, construction inspection and other contingencies, Cunningham said.
‘Construction on all three phases should begin around the end of July,’ he said. ‘The contracts are for one year, but, hopefully, the work will be completed sooner than that.’
Cunningham said borrowing funds from the USDA enables the utility to get a 40-year, 4.5-percent, fixed-rate loan.
‘That means we are able to do this necessary expansion without raising customer rates,’ Cunningham said.
South Harrison Water Corp. is a non-profit, potable water distribution system serving Boone, Franklin, Harrison, Heth, Posey, Taylor, Washington and Webster townships in Harrison County and Franklin Township in Floyd County. South Harrison serves 2,850 metered accounts or an approximate population of 7,700.
Jack Frederick chairs the utility’s board of directors.