SYRACUSE — When the Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District sends out the certified letter of requirement to connect, it will be exactly three years after TCRSD patrons were first warned that penalties would ensue. With a new direction, additional facilities, and a new attorney on their team, the district is ready to crack down on non-compliance. The board met Monday evening, July 15, to review construction progress, celebrate a full disconnect from the town of Syracuse and make some important decisions on penalizing customers.
Indiana state statute allows a maximum fine of $100 per day for customers who fail to connect to the provided sewer system. The catch is that the district must warn its patrons by at least 90 days and by certified mail. To ensure these conditions are being met, TCRSD’s new attorney Andrew Boxberger will be redoing the entire process from three years past. Although district superintendent Timothy Woodward says almost 90% of the district has been compliant, the remaining 10% will have until Nov. 1 to connect or be penalized daily.
Although the fines may sound strict, customers won’t reach the maximum allowed daily fine until nine months of failure to connect. Woodward says local contractors are ready to start and waiting on calls. The district will still be authorized to waive those penalties on a case-by-case basis, if presented to the board.
While the district forges ahead with connections, local contractors are on site at the wastewater treatment plant finalizing construction on a fourth clarifier tank to assist with the additional flow that had previously been treated by Syracuse. Projects are expected to be completed in August or September.
Woodward and his crew had to work around the unfinished clarifier tank over the Fourth of July holiday — an occasion that Woodward says is what the plant is speced for. Due to the massive number of additional residents on Syracuse and Wawasee lakes during this holiday, TCRSD’s capacity of 1.2 million gallons is well above what is typically required day-to-day. This year, flow reached a new high at over 1.1 million gallons. Woodward and his team tracked data of the flow every hour for 18 hours and reported that back to project engineers to be sure all construction matches needs.
Following are other items covered during the meeting:
Boxberger is assisting the district with adjusting the territory border to include a brewery/coffeehouse, school and church that are already customers; this agreement would exclude those customers from TCRSD’s current ability to force connection of new sewer (if it is built).
Woodward cheered with the board as Boxberger prepped the final letter of disconnect to the town of Syracuse. June 11 marks the termination of the agreement that has been in place between the two districts since 1987.
The board will meet again at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19.