Milltown finishes up paperwork on its treatment plant project
Chris Adams, Contributing Writer
The Milltown Town Council earlier this month took a couple of steps toward closing out the paperwork portion of the new wastewater treatment plant project.
At the recommendation of Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering, the council, at its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 13, approved president Jerry Mackey signing the Fiscal Sustainability Plan certification form needed to close out the State Revolving Fund.
The FSP — required by the Indiana Finance Authority, which administers the SRF loan program— is to lay out action the town may take regarding the plant in the next five years. Woosley said the project’s FSP lists potential improvements to, or replacement of, the Spencer Street lift station.
“It’s not committing you to doing it. It’s just saying these are things on our radar,” he told the council.
Mackey also signed paperwork necessary to close out the project’s grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Nathan Hale of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, the grant’s administrator, said the grant should be fully closed out shortly.
The approximately $1.6 million new plant has been operational since Aug. 31.
In a related matter, Woosley said IFA has approved an addendum to allow the town’s remaining $41,000 SRF loan balance to be used toward construction of sludge drying beds at the plant.
Without new drying beds, which were not part of the wastewater treatment plant project, the town may need to begin hauling its sludge to other facilities. Plant operator Steve Tolliver of Aqua Utility Services LLC estimated doing so would cost the town between 15 and 18 cents per gallon.
Woosley said Mitchell and Stark Construction, which built the new plant, submitted a low bid of $274,000 to construct the beds.
The bid was opened at the council’s November meeting.
“I have met with them to talk about some possible cost savings,” he said. “They came up with about $58,000 in savings.”
Woosley said the town needs to approve the original bid and then submit a deduct change order to IFA, but he doesn’t expect any issue with it being approved.
The savings would reduce the construction cost to approximately $216,000. Noting the project would include about $11,000 in soft costs, Woosley said the town, after the $41,000 of SRF loan dollars were applied, would be responsible for finding about $186,000 in funding. He said the project would be an eligible expenditure of the town’s American Rescue Plan funds.
Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz said the town currently has $88,207.13 in ARP funds and will receive another $88,207.12 in 2022. At a total of $176,414.25, the town still would need about $10,000.
Following discussion, Councilman Justin Barnes made a motion to approve the project, including the original bid from Mitchell and Stark Construction, utilizing ARP funds with the rest to be paid with riverboat capital outlay funds. The motion was approved 3-0.
The town council also voted 3-0 to adopt the 2022 salary ordinance.
The 2022 salary ordinance leaves the annual pay of the council members at $1,200. It also leaves the salary of the clerk-treasurer at $27,285, but provides longevity pay equal to 3% of the salary, $819.
The ordinance, however, provides 3% increases for the town manager (from $33,475 to $34,479), town marshal (from $18,961 to $19,530) and administrative personnel at the police department (from $8.24 per hour to $8.49 per hour). It also set the hourly pay of full-time labor between $11 and $13.
In other business, the council:
•Voted 3-0 to transfer $15,000 from the Cemetery Fund to the Cemetery Mowing Fund to cover a negative balance of $14,500.
•Approved, 3-0, a budgetary resolution authorizing the transfer of $1,000 from General Fund – Other Services to General Fund – Police Operating to cover a negative balance. The town is prohibited from carrying a negative balance into the new budget year. The money transferred does not exceed the total amount originally budgeted for 2021.
•Voted 3-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the transfer of funds for the Community Crossings Grant match. The resolution transfers a total of $24,289 — $18,875 from MVH-R – Repairs and Maintenance and $5,414 from MVH – Repairs and Maintenance — to the Community Crossings Grant Fund. As with the other budgetary transfer, the money transferred does not exceed the total amount originally budgeted for 2021.
•Voted 3-0 to renew its property, casualty and liability insurance with EMC Insurance at a cost of $997. Crawford County Security Co., the town’s broker, is to obtain a quote for additional liability coverage.
•Was informed by Lutz that the town’s 2022 budget was approved by the Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finance.
The $295,600 budget includes an adopted tax levy of $170,000 and tax rate of $1.6434. The adopted home-ruled budget (those funds not reviewed by the IDLGF) is $200,601.
•Voted 3-0 to amend the ordinance governing usage of town credit cards and charge cards to name the chief of police as a purchasing agent. Other purchasing agents are the town manager and clerk-treasurer.
• Approved a request by resident Bill Byrd, the town’s appointee to the Indiana 15 RPC Board of Directors, to draft a letter to the organization praising Hale for his work on the wastewater treatment plant project.
• Announced that Police Chief Jimmie Vincent successfully completed training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.