The last leg to provide sewers around Lake Wawasee by the Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District is progressing. While there’s still no deadline set, it is expected a decision on if the project will live or die will be made by late spring or early summer.
“The sooner we reach that point the better,” said Richard Green, legal counsel for TCRSD. The more homeowners in that project area who participate, the lower the rate will ultimately be as the cost will be spread out among more homeowners.
TCRSD wants to make the project economically feasible. If not enough interest is received to make it economically feasible, the project will halt and sewing will not happen, even in the future.
The last leg of the project is called the South Shore-Waco Drive Area Project, affecting 347 potential customers. Daily commitments are being received. “So far it looks like we will be able to meet our goal,” Green said. But the caveat is if it doesn’t go through, “those who have signed will lose the opportunity.”
One of the original components of the project has also changed, according to Green, which has brought many more on board as the initial up front cost has decreased.
One component is the on-site component. Property owners within the project will be responsible to purchase and install a grinder pump and installation. Engineers estimate this will cost homeowners $5,000 to $8,000.
The other component is the off-site component the upgrade of lift stations, enlargement of the plant and so forth. As explained by Green, if 200 connected each residence connecting would be responsible for one-two hundredths of the construction cost or recapture free. This was initially estimated between $2,800 to $3,800 per homeowner on top of their installation costs, depending on the number of participants.
“That has been done away with. It will roll in with the borrowing (bond issue) for upgrading the lift stations, enlarging the plant. Instead of paying up front, it will be paid over approximately 20 years in monthly installments, instead of a sewer surcharge. We’ll be doing a bond anyway,” he stated.
This final phase of the district is now estimated at approximately $2.5 million. The S.W.A.P area is estimated at $1 million. The project will consist of a force main installed in the right of way, that will run from the dead end of George Street, following the lakeside road, up through Trusdale, down Waco Drive, Ideal Beach and South Shore Drive, where it will connect into the present system at Wawasee Middle School.
The project calls for installing a lift station near South Shore and Vawter Park Road, a new lift station to take pressure off the A1A station in Enchanted Hills, increase the size of pumps in four lift stations and enlarge the treatment plant to increase the capacity to receive the additional sewage.
“We will push until we get all contacted … then take a look,” Green stated back in August. Those who do not want to commit at this time, may not get the opportunity to connect five plus years from now, if the project is killed.
“Even though you might think ‘we don’t have a problem’ with your system, it doesn’t mean you’re not contributing to the detriment of the lake,” stated Green. “The benefit of the sewer is eliminating that fear of when the system is going to go bad … in the short run the cost may seem excessive, but these are one time costs. If you look at the big picture over decades and generations, it’s really not a big cost.”