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Sewer board approves rate for new hospital

The hospital’s sewer rate was unanimously approved by the Harrison County Regional Sewer District at a public hearing last Wednesday. Scott Miller, of H.J. Umbaugh and Associates, proposed the ordinance and recommended fees to the district last month.
The ordinance includes a monthly treatment rate of $4.15 per 1,000 gallons of water and a base rate of $74.75 for each two-inch meter. The district will also charge the hospital monthly surcharges if its sewage exceeds specific levels of suspended solids and two other substances. The hospital will begin the gradual process of moving to the new location in 2008, with patients expected to be moved in late February.
In other district news, the subcommittee met with SSK to discuss the draft agreement, after the district had made some specific changes. The agreement changed dramatically from the original draft from SSK.
‘They didn’t have any major issues. I was pleasantly surprised,’ said Bob Woosley, district consultant from Heritage Engineering.
SSK does want to secure the use of the extra capacity for flow in the plant, when they eventually need it.
‘They made the investment; they want to use it,’ said Woosley.
SSK is responsible for all of the repairs requested by the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management and the Regional Sewer District. They want the opportunity to use the capacity for additions in the future.
The district wants to have an annual audit to possibly adjust the rates.
‘We want to make sure we’re still covering costs,’ said Woosley. ‘We’ll try to look at the rate for at least the first two years.’
Woosley said the district will oversee the construction of the equalization tank, but SSK will cover the cost.
Bill Byrd, district representative of Milltown, did not like the idea of signing an agreement with two separate entities. The mobile home park and a separate 64-lot plat adjacent to the mobile home park are the two members of the agreement.
‘I’m adamantly opposed to go into agreement with two entities,’ said Byrd. ‘Why do they need to be made under the same agreement? From a personal liability standpoint, I think it should be separate. If I had a vote, I would vote no.’
Chris Byrd, the district’s legal counsel, said the two were so related he did not see a problem with one agreement.
‘I don’t see a substantial difference in the two,’ said Chris Byrd. ‘There’s no way of getting out of it.’
Fred Cammack, district member, wanted to make sure the additional charges for infiltration will be decided by the district, not the park.
Woosley said they hope to have a resolution by the first of February.
‘That may be a little soon,’ said Woosley. ‘There’s no rush, but we’d certainly like to have it by then.’
In other matters last week:
‘ Steve Hall, of FMSM, gave an update on the Indian Creek Watershed project. He said they will recommend that IDEM take a section of Indian Creek off of the impaired list. The section is in southern Harrison County.
Hall plans to have a public meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Harrison County Annex Building.
‘ The district discussed the 2008 budget and hopes to have something finalized in the near future.
‘I wanted to get something in front of you to consider,’ Woosley said. ‘You may have funds encumbered.’
‘We’re responsible to make sure everything is balanced,’ said Commissioner James Goldman. ‘The county is responsible on that front. Other than that, it’s your money.’
‘I think we need to give it a lot of thought and discuss it at our next meeting,’ said Tom Tucker, president of the sewer district board.
Woosley outlined a few goals for 2008, including the construction of a Web site, connecting New Salisbury businesses and beginning the takeover of Berkshire Pointe.
‘ The board unanimously voted to allow Ramsey Water Co. to handle billing services. The board approved two invoices for Heritage Engineering, one for the New Salisbury budget plan, in the amount of $1,080, and $4,787 for the 2007 budget.
The Regional Sewer District’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 11 a.m. at the Harrison County Court House.