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End in sight for Milltown’s new wastewater treatment plant

End in sight for Milltown’s new wastewater treatment plant End in sight for Milltown’s new wastewater treatment plant
Chris Adams, Contributing Writer

Milltown’s new wastewater treatment plant is nearing completion, with the plant’s operator  telling the town council at its Aug. 9 meeting the facility should be operational by the end of the month.

Steve Tolliver of AquaUtility Services said a dry test went well and they will soon be doing a wet start-up to make sure there are no air leaks or problems with the piping. He said clean water will be used but added the contractor is supposed to pay for the water.

“When they’re done, then we’ll start introducing the raw sewage to it as long as there’s no problems. We want to fix them first. That’s why we want clean water in there,” Tolliver said.

“Then, they’ll start tearing down the existing plant right after that. So, by the time we get to this next (town council) meeting, we should be pretty close to being done. It may run up into September a little bit, but demo goes pretty quick generally speaking.”

Also regarding the new wastewater treatment plant, the council voted 3-0 to authorize the seventh pay request from contractor Mitchell and Stark Construction in the amount of $172,235.

Following up on an issue from previous meetings, town manager Josh Breeding said he obtained the first of two needed appraisals regarding the old railroad property that Cave Country Canoes has expressed interest in purchasing.

The appraisal — from Larry J. Harmon Appraisals Inc. of Corydon — valued the property at $1,500.

“He was one of the few appraisers I found that was willing to go in with what we had, just the deed, and do all the work himself. … I can now take this, send the work he made to another appraiser, and they can just give me a number,” Breeding said, adding that should speed up the process.

Regarding the property at 307 E. Main St. that the town in June voted to sell, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz said there hasn’t been any movement as she was waiting on the notices to send to adjacent residents and then to the newspaper to publish.

Breeding said town attorney David Hutson sent him a draft of the notice, but he hadn’t returned it to Hutson. He admitted to being confused as to what action the council had taken regarding the property, believing it had tabled the matter like it did another piece of property.

Since the notice hasn’t been published, the council decided to include a stipulation that whoever purchases the property must demolish the building on it within 180 days or the property reverts to the town.

In other business, the council:

Was informed by Lutz that Michell Allen Ritz Architects visited on July 22 to conduct the assessment of the town hall that is being funded by a $2,500 Endangered Places Grant the town received from Indiana Landmarks.

While the report will be presented to the town council once completed, Lutz said she is optimistic the building, which has drainage issues, can be repaired.

“I got a really good feeling from them. It didn’t sound as bad as I thought it might. I felt pretty good when they left. I’m anxious to hear the assessment,” she said.

Was told by Lutz that the town’s application for a grant from the newly created State Water Infrastructure Fund was submitted.

The program — created when the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year allocated $100 million of federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to the Indiana Finance Authority — provides grant dollars for wastewater, drinking water and stormwater projects that either protect or improve public health or water quality.

Was told by Breeding that he is “fully aware of the weed situation in town” and that it will be handled.

“It’s not an option of if we will or won’t. We will get it figured out,” he said.

Learned from Police Chief Jimmie Vincent that the Milltown Police Dept. received a grant to carry NARCAN, which can help save the life of someone who has suffered an opioid overdose.

Vincent also told the council that the Crawford County Sheriff’s Dept. donated $1,600 to the MPD for the purchase of a thermal unmanned aircraft system.

“We talked to our vendor. They agreed to sell us another one. So, instead of buying just a camera, we’re buying another UAS,” he said, adding $485 raised from the MPD’s ATV ride will also go toward the purchase.

Was asked by Councilwoman Jeannie Melton if there are any objections to her making a proposal to First Savings Bank about installing an ATM in the town.

The other two council members — Jerry Mackey and Justin Barnes — said they are fine with it, but Barnes said that, because of liability issues, it shouldn’t be on town property.

The town council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.