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Sewer district rates to rise by 4%

Sewer district rates to rise by 4% Sewer district rates to rise by 4%
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District is imposing a 4% rate increase to its Corydon customers, which, as of now, is solely Harrison County Hospital, in the next billing cycle, as voted on unanimously by the board at its meeting Friday morning.

After months of back and forth, the sewer district has come to a resolution with the Town of Corydon regarding an ongoing interlocal agreement between the two bodies. Because of the resolution, the district will now be paying a fee to the town each month for its part in the tracking of flow on pipes used by the sewer district in Corydon.

Because of that fee, the board believed it was necessary to increase the district’s rate to Corydon sewer district customers. The board is able to increase rates up to 5% per year, but, after discussion, determined that 4% would be adequate as it didn’t want to increase too much.

This will also be an increase to future residents of the Poplar Trace subdivision located west of Corydon along Corydon-Ramsey Road between state roads 62 and 337. The development currently has seven lots under construction, all of which the developer has paid the sewer district fees. After construction is completed, residents in the subdivision will begin to see monthly billing.

In other business, Steve Tolliver, the board’s system operator from Aqua Utility Services, reported in his update of the Berkshire wastewater treatment plant that the effluent pump the board approved the purchase of at a previous meeting should arrive sometime in mid-April. He noted this should mitigate most of his concerns for the plant for a short period of time, until they are able to expand the plant.

In the Berkshire expansion update, Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering reviewed various funding options, as well as other necessary improvements and how this will affect customer rates.

The expansion will include an upgrade in capacity for the system, going from 60,000 gallons per day to 120,000 gpd. This will allow for the hook ups of the current developments under construction — Kepley Fields, Apple Orchard and the Pine View Group Home, all at New Salisbury — and also allow for plenty of usage for future construction.

The expansion plan cost of a projected $2.8 million will also allow for the replacement of a force main and increasing the size from the current plant’s four-inch piping to six inch. The cost also covers improvements to the collection system, assuming the entirety of the piping needs to be lined.

However, the lining work can only occur if the district takes ownership of the system currently owned by Berkshire Pointe mobile home park.

District president Tom Tucker believes the board should be in favor of taking this on as it will only help the sewer district in future endeavors with the expansion plans.

The board agreed with Tucker and hopes to move forward in an agreement on the matter.

Woosley also suggested the possibility of approaching the county governing bodies to gauge their interests on distributing money from the 2021 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act toward the expansion project.

The board members all agreed this would be a wise idea because rate increases for customers in this area will depend on the amount of money the district has to borrow. And because the sewer district hopes to have this project completed by October 2022, it would fit within the guidelines for CARES money.

Next on the agenda for the expansion project is to televise the lines on the south portion of the collection system. Last year, the district televised a portion of lines in that area but is required to finish all of the system. The board unanimously voted to hire Hydromax USA, based in Louisville, to perform the televising, costing the district about $12,000.

Woosley also gave an update on the other private developments currently underway in Harrison County, all of which will be added as customers for the sewer district. Kepley Fields currently has eight lots underway, Apple Orchard has four buildings under construction and Pineview Group Home is working on its first building.

The sewer district board is scheduled to meet again on Friday, April 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.