Sewer district raises connection fees
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
New customers who are connecting to the Harrison County Regional Sewer District’s wastewater and sewer collection systems will see an increase in cost for connection fees than previous customers, as the district’s board voted to raise the cost from $2,040 to $2,500 at their monthly meeting Friday morning.
This decision came due in part to the significant costs the district has taken on in the last year for performing multiple utility locates to meet the demands of the incoming commercial construction and developments located within the county limits.
The $2,500 fee is per equivalent residential unit (ERU). One ERU is equal to 310 gallons of wastewater per day. This fee will increase 2% each year, starting Jan. 1, 2022.
New customers, according to the ordinance, who are proposing apartments, group homes or other multi-family type connections will pay a capacity fee in the amount of one ERU plus $750 for each additional residence or apartment within the same structure.
Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering, informed the board that he has made all of those in charge of ongoing county development projects aware of this increase.
Board member Darin Duncan made a motion to pass the ordinance, which passed unanimously.
Both Kepley Fields and Poplar Trace, two private developments where the district has seen quick customer growth, have 16 lots currently paid for to begin connection. Kepley Fields intends to reach 70 single-family homes, 55 apartments and five commercial lots. Poplar Trace hopes to boast 78 single-family homes and 13 duplexes.
Because of these ongoing developments, various board members expressed the importance for the Berkshire Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project to receive funding. However, where the funding will come from is the unsolved problem.
Currently, the board is hoping to find funding for what Woosley is considering the first phase of the expansion, replacing the effluent force main. This project will total between $220,000 and $250,000.
Duncan suggested requesting a loan from the county for the amount, as it didn’t seem likely the sewer district will receive full funding from the county in time for one of the bids, which were opened at the September meeting and placed on a 90-day hold, to be accepted.
“The sewer district was formed to help with economic development,” said Gary Davis, the district’s vice president and treasurer. “That makes this project very important for county growth.”
Woosley presented the loan option to the Harrison County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Monday, and it was taken under advisement.
The regional sewer district will meet next on Friday, Nov. 19, at 8:30 a.m. at th Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.