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Gov’t. shutdown may delay fed project payments

Jill Saegesser, a grant writer for the Harrison County Regional Sewer District board, informed the board Oct. 16 that payments to contractors on the New Salisbury sanitary sewer district project may be delayed because of the 16-day federal government shutdown.
Luckily for the board, and its contractors on the job, Congress came to an agreement and the government was reopened later that night.
Half of the project, which will bring a sanitary sewer system to the business corridor at and along the intersection of state roads 135 and 64, is funded by the Economic Development Agency, which was closed during the shutdown.
‘I called two days before the shutdown (to get answers regarding the funding), but no one called me back,’ she said.
As it stands, the sewer board pays the contractor (mainly Dan Christiani Excavating Co.) and then the EDA reimburses 50 percent to the board.
But, Saegesser said that since the agency was shut down for a little more than two weeks, she expects everything to be delayed about double that time.
‘Up until right now, I haven’t missed them,’ board member J.R. Eckart said of the federal government.
It shouldn’t be a major issue for the district, as long as the reimbursements come in before its cash balance runs low.
As for the project’s progress, it’s about two months ahead of schedule.
‘It should be done in two to three months,’ Matt Robinson, consultant from Heritage Engineering (regular consultant Bob Woosley was out of town), said.
Eckart said he’s been very impressed with the work so far, specifically the lack of disturbance the contractor has caused with no road closures or detours.
‘They’ve done a professional job of keeping the clutter and mess to a minimum,’ he said.
In other business, the board discussed the next stormwater demonstration project, which will be a rain garden near the parking lot at South Central Elementary School.
The rain garden will catch parking lot run-off to keep it from contaminating the environment. It will use attractive, native plant species, district consultant Rob Huckaby, of Stantec, said.
The board also discussed placing cameras at its wastewater treatment plant site in New Salisbury (Berkshire Pointe) after vandalism occurred there. The system will cost about $200.
‘It sounds like something we need to do,’ RSD board president Tom Tucker said.
The board’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 8:30 a.m. at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.