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Preliminary report for Berkshire plant gets OK

Preliminary report for Berkshire plant gets OK Preliminary report for Berkshire plant gets OK
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District received approval on a preliminary engineering report to receive funding from state revolving funds for the $2 million Berkshire Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project.

Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering explained to the sewer board during its meeting Friday morning that the next steps are to approve engineering contracts and consultants so that once the loan is finalized and closed they will be able to begin construction on the expected 150,000-gallon capacity plant for New Salisbury.

He also shared that once the loan is closed, something that should occur in the next 90 to 100 days, the district will have two years to complete construction, according to fund stipulations.

“You can’t beat the rates we are getting with SRF funds,” Woosley said. “Once this project is complete, we should be set for quite a long time in New Salisbury.”

Dan Lee made a motion, seconded by Tony Combs, to allow district president Tom Tucker to sign documents allowing the engineering design for the expansion to begin immediately and for consultants to begin working on the project as well.

The district agreed that the current tanks operating the plant should be converted into surge basins that would be used in case of emergencies once the plant expansion is completed.

In other business, Woosley shared that the district has received a permit for construction from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management for the effluent force main replacement project at the Berkshire plant.

The board will award the force main replacement project — pending funding approval from either the Harrison County Council or other possible funding options — to Cornell Harbison Excavating, per the recommendation of Woosley. Cornell’s bid came in at $238,000. The bid expires on Dec. 16, so funding will have to be approved by then to start the project.

At a previous county council meeting, Woosley was asked by the council to petition IDEM to have council appointments to the district serve for one-year terms instead of four years. This was a notion the district wasn’t keen on as they had noted it takes some time to get adjusted to where projects are for the district.

Woosley shared that he had reached out to IDEM about this matter and is waiting to hear back whether this can be done.

Tucker shared that he would prefer to extend the number of board members to nine, as opposed to the current seven-member board, than shorten term lengths.

No action was taken on this matter, as Woosley and the district’s attorney, Chris Byrd, advised the board to wait to hear back from IDEM before reporting anything to the council.

Also at Friday’s meeting, the sewer board unanimously approved the renewal of the contract with Aqua Utility Services as the system operator for the district.

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