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Dealing with storm water, wastewater gears for next step

Hoping to move forward without delay, consultants on the Harrison County Stormwater/Wastewater Regional Task Force told the Harrison County Council last week that their preliminary work is complete and additional funding is needed to reach the next step.
Project manager Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering LLC of Floyds Knobs told the council that the county will be ready to form regional sewer districts by spring. A lot of the progress is due to ‘much appreciated’ help from the ad hoc task force that assisted in determining priorities, he said.
Council chair Gary Davis, a member of that task force, said an additional ‘$156,000 is needed to carry forward in 2005.’
To save time, he said, the request is being made first to the council at its planning session. The commissioners will be approached next (instead of first, as is the usual protocol) at their Dec. 6 morning meeting for approval to appropriate the money from riverboat revenue. And if the commissioners approve the funding, the council can act on the request at its next appropriations meeting, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., Davis said.
‘We want to keep this moving forward,’ he said.
Forming wastewater/storm water districts where needed throughout the county and establishing floodplains so building permits can be issued without error are major tasks that must be accomplished.
Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes, who serves on the planning and zoning advisory panel, said, as it now stands, people are told they must get an engineer to determine floodplains if there’s a stream nearby. ‘Then it’s unsure, and it’s time-consuming and costs money,’ Mathes noted. ‘When can we say, ‘Yes, you can,’ or ‘No, you can’t?’ ‘ he asked the consultants.
Woosley said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is expected to provide funds for floodplain mapping by March.
‘Then we can do the mapping,’ Woosley said, adding that development according to FEMA guidelines would then be required.
A copy of the feasibility study report from Heritage and FMSM Engineers (Fuller, Mossbarger, Scott & May) is on file at the Harrison County engineer’s office and may be reviewed during regular courthouse hours.
Several improvement projects are under consideration. ‘In my opinion, the district board, once it’s seated, should be the board that will help prioritize projects,’ county engineer Darin Duncan said.
He said sewer service districts will not be county-wide but will be centered in areas needing sewer service. But to be enforceable, the stormwater district must be county-wide, Duncan said.
Approval from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management will be required, he said.
Other task force committee members include Marty Bachman, Darrell Voelker, Paul Beckort, Commissioner J.R. Eckart, and county attorney Christopher Byrd.

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