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Regional Sewer DIstrict considers next move

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District board last week discussed the progress of its two major projects, New Salisbury and Lanesville, and also looked to the future for its next endeavor.
Board consultant and engineer Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering, said the next two focuses for the district will be the North Harrison school campus and some residential areas in and around New Salisbury that have system failures. One such failing system is in a multi-family facility on the south side of the railroad tracks along Corydon Junction Road, near the Hastings facility (former Child Craft).
‘The health department ordered them to pump and haul,’ Woosley said.
Board president Tom Tucker said there’s another failing system on the other end of Corydon Junction Road near the old schoolhouse apartments.
‘His system is failing, and he’d like to hook on,’ Tucker said.
Woosley said a plan will be created to hook up everyone in that area, including the old schoolhouse apartments.
Woosley said the New Salisbury business corridor project is basically complete and businesses are now in the process of hooking up their buildings.
‘Things are moving right along and closing out well,’ he said.
As for the Lanesville project, Woosley said he expects to gain approval from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management and possibly have construction approval before the board’s next meeting in mid-June.
In other business, the board continued its discussion about the possibility of Harrison County being designated as a MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) by IDEM.
The MS4 distinction, which includes regulations for stormwater management/water quality, is triggered when an area reaches a certain population density level. According to the census, only a small sliver of Harrison County near Georgetown qualifies for MS4, so the county sent a letter about 10 years ago, following the 2000 census results, asking to opt out of the MS4.
Now, the district board and the county board of commissioners are in the process of doing the same thing.
‘I’m in favor of opening dialogue and being responsive,’ district consultant Rob Huckaby, from Stantec, said. ‘I work with this program every day, but I’m not a big believer in its applicability in Harrison County.’
Huckaby said Harrison County officials can demonstrate to IDEM that they’re proactive when it comes to stormwater and runoff.
Floyd County is under the MS4 designation, and board member Jim Klinstiver said the farmers in Floyd County find it to be burdensome.
Commissioner George Ethridge said officials at IDEM made it clear they were not in a hurry to put the MS4 distinction on Harrison County.
‘If they put it off indefinitely, it’d be fine with us,’ he said. ‘She’s (IDEM representative) aware it’s a very small portion of the county.’
Ethridge said the county would be over-regulated if it had to follow MS4 guidelines.
‘Hopefully, we’ll get another waiver like the last census,’ he said. ‘The amount of money they’re (counties under MS4) spending is phenomenal.’
Ethridge said one county spends as much as $50 million per year on the mandatory program.
‘There’s nothing good to be said about MS4,’ Gary Davis, board treasurer, said.
Ethridge said at some point down the road the MS4 distinction will hit the county.
‘When it comes, not if it comes, it will be massive,’ he said.