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Sewer district hits another funding wall

Sewer district hits another funding wall Sewer district hits another funding wall
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

It seems that the Harrison County Regional Sewer District has yet again hit another wall in its efforts to obtain funding for a much-needed Berkshire wastewater treatment plant expansion project as the project proposal did not score high enough to receive state revolving funds, something district board members had optimistically anticipated to receive for their multi-million dollar project.

Bob Woosley, the project engineer from Heritage Engineering, told the board during its regular monthly meeting Friday morning that the project will automatically be considered for funding next year. He also said the state revolving fund had offered to place them in a pool for leftover funds, but that all bids and aspects of the project would have to be completed and turned in by Sept. 17, which would be impossible for this large of a project.

Steve Tolliver, the operations manager, said he may have found a solution to the generator issue at the Berkshire plant, located east of New Salisbury, which could bide them some time for expansion.

He said the district could rent a generator on an emergency basis for about $1,000 a month.

The current generator at the plant has a water infiltration issue.

Tom Tucker, president of the sewer district board, agreed that, as long as the decision is run by him before being made, Tolliver has authorization to rent a generator on an emergency basis.

With the rest of the expansion project currently on hold as the district decides on the best path to move forward, Woosley recommended they proceed with acquiring an effluent force main for the treatment plant, something that roughly costs about $180,000.

“We have to prove to IDEM (Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management) we are able to handle the flows in the treatment plant in order to build out more at Kepley Fields,” Woosley said. “We have to add a new effluent immediately because, once all the development there is done, we will be at capacity.”

The bids for the effluent force main will be opened at next month’s meeting when the district will then put a 90-day hold on the bids so they are able to determine from where they will be receiving funding. The district’s intention in opening the bids first is to provide a definite number to either the county or the Harrison County Community Foundation in hopes of receiving funding.

The district agreed to remove the collections system replacement portion of the wastewater treatment plant expansion project. The area is underneath the mobile home park that is owned by Flagship Communities (formerly SSK).

Now that the sewer district is able to receive accurate readings on flow at the mobile home park, after approving to replace pumps at a prior meeting, it intends to bill Flagship Communities for this fee.

The district agreed to send a notification to Flagship to start billing on Nov. 1, which will be based on usage during October.

The district’s board next meeting is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 a.m. at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.