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Sewer district hopes to get loan for effluent force main project

Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering, and Tom Tucker, president of the Harrison County Regional Sewer District board, approached the county commissioners in yet another attempt to find funding for a project they have tried numerous avenues to get completed.

After opening bids, and placing them on a 90-day hold, at their September meeting for an effluent force main replacement project that will total around $250,000, the Woosley and Tucker approached the commissioners Monday night to request funding for the project. This is a portion of a much larger plan to completely expand the Berkshire wastewater treatment plant near New Salisbury, which will ultimately lead to more development in the entire area.

However, the request was taken under advisement as Commissioner Nelson Stepro shared that the county doesn’t have the “kind of money right now” needed to fund this project. He said passing the request to the council would be “throwing the buck.”

But, Woosley and Tucker had a new idea in hopes of finally receiving funding, and that is making it in a loan form that the district would pay back to the county over time.

“What would happen is the district could pledge future capacity fees toward the loan and they already have some current capacity fees on hand,” Woosley explained. “Capacity fees are fees that developers pay to connect to the system. Currently, the district has $80,000 in capacity fees in an account. We would like to not wipe all those out at one time for emergencies.”

Woosley gave an example of incoming capacity fees that the district will acquire by discussing the ongoing development of Kepley Fields at New Salisbury. He shared that currently there are 54 lots remaining there, which would equate to $135,000 the district will receive. He also said the development of Poplar Trace, west of Corydon, is in the same situation, with 60 remaining lots which would equate to $150,000 coming into the district.

“If it is assumed that each development adds 10 lots per year, we would add $50,000 a year toward capacity fees which we could pledge toward the payback of a loan from the county,” Woosley said.

The commissioners took this request under advisement, and Woosley and Tucker will appear before them at their next meeting in hopes it will be moved to the council.

In other business at Monday’s commissioners’ meeting, April Breeden, Harrison County Animal Control director, made the commissioners aware that they have a new ordinance. The commissioners unanimously approved to sign the ordinance that contains updated operations and care regulations.

Also, Glen Bube, superintendent of Harrison County Highway Dept., approached the commissioners to request the commissioners send the highway department to the council for a funding request, which was approved unanimously. The additional request would come out of the cumulative bridge fund and would total $214,667 to be used for bridge inspection work as it is completed. Eighty percent of the costs will be reimbursed once finished.

Bube also shared that the 2021 Community Crossing grant paving project is now completed as the commissioners signed a change order for $227,000 in regard to the project. The final contract totaled $1,561,328, and the department had set aside $1.6 million originally for the project.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 1, at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.