Posted on

New district board will oversee sewage treatment, drainage

In response to a need for stormwater and wastewater treatment in residential areas and to provide services necessary for future growth, Harrison County’s Regional Sewer District is taking shape.
The district was approved Sept. 23, 2005, by the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management Commissioner Thomas W. Easterly. His ruling was based on the findings of IDEM’s hearing officer Lynne Newlon, who conducted a public hearing in Corydon in June 2005.
Directors appointed to the board thus far include Commissioner J.R. Eckart, chair of the commissioners’ three members, Councilman Gary Davis, chair of the seven-member council, former Harrison County engineer Darin Duncan of Elizabeth, Certified Public Accountant Tom Tucker of Corydon and professional engineer J. Daniel Lee, environmental manager at Tyson Foods in Corydon. Harrison County Surveyor Tom Bube and engineer Kevin Russel are ex officio members; town representatives are expected to be appointed by March 31. In Corydon, town council president Fred Cammack is expected to serve.
Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes of Corydon, who is experienced in excavation and installation of septic systems, volunteered to serve on the board, but Councilman Chris Timberlake’s motion to appoint Mathes failed at the council’s March 13 meeting. Davis was appointed instead.
Mathes believes the make-up of the district’s board is most heavily weighted with persons interested in sewage treatment. So he fears drainage woes won’t get the attention necessary to resolve problems.
Since the commissioners currently serve as the drainage board, they are expected to delegate that responsibility to the regional district. And a stormwater ordinance will be reviewed by the commissioners for approval after public input.
The plan is to manage both wastewater and stormwater on a watershed basis starting with Indian Creek, since that is where most of the development is occurring, Davis said. ‘The initial effort will focus on education and possibly some demonstration pro-jects.’
Davis said the group’s organizational meeting is expected to be held in April, but the date and place have not been decided.
‘The first thing to be done is to get the board organized and up to speed on how we got where we are and what to do next,’ Davis said. The board has been instructed to submit a plan for construction and operation of the district’s facilities to IDEM by June 19.
Harrison County officials have agreed to provide $2 million in riverboat tax money as needed for the construction of a sewage treatment plant to serve the new hospital northwest of Corydon, so that will likely be the first project, Davis said.
Riverboat funds have also been promised to help upgrade Milltown’s sewage treatment system and the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange has been targeted for services to lure development.
Training sessions will likely be led by Harrison County’s consulting firm, Heritage Engineers. ‘We also may use the Indiana Regional Sewer District Alliance which has offered to help us get started,’ Davis said.