County should continue RSD support
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer
The Harrison County Regional Sewer District needs the full support of county government to get started on the New Salisbury sanitary sewer project and, hopefully, to grow further to provide other areas in the county that need working, sanitary sewers.
The district received a federal grant for more than $1 million for the New Salisbury project, and the county has already pledged a match of $670,000. The Harrison County Community Foundation and Economic Development Corp. have also chipped in, but, according to district officials, a gap of approximately $280,000 will have to be made up at some point from some place.
District board members spoke of borrowing the remaining funds, but, in this case, county government created the district and it should do everything it can to ensure its success. While I don’t quite understand how such a large gap could be left on a project using federal funds (one would think all funding issues would be accounted for before the feds award the grant), the county should approve riverboat gaming funds, when the time comes, to fill the funding gap.
The sewer board is one of the rare government entities that, in fact, could end up being self-sustaining, as evident by its monthly cash flow coming in from its two small operations ‘ Berkshire Pointe mobile home park and the Harrison County Hospital property ‘ at this time.
The district is unique in that it works to not only provide safe wastewater treatment, but it also works with stormwater issues throughout the county. The district has a request with the county commissioners of about $85,000 for a stormwater project at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School and Corydon Central High School. The project would work as a ongoing educational tool for the schools.
The mission statement of the board is to use the best technology and operating practices available in a cost-effective manner to protect the residents, property and environment of Harrison County. The district has already done so by acquiring and taking over a faulted treatment plant (Berkshire) and now it will aid in the process of ridding Schmidt Cabinet Co. of its Indiana Department of Environmental Management agreed order against it with the sanitary sewer project, slated to begin next year.
The county should continue its support of the district and the district will continue its mission of providing sanitary sewers throughout the county which will attract businesses, residents and ensure environmental safety.