NORTH WEBSTER — North Webster Town Council met a week later than usual Tuesday, July 23, in the Shoup Room at the North Webster Community Center with a big agenda to accomplish. Council heard presentations from KEDCO Executive Director Alan Tio and from Ken Jones of Jones Petrie Rafinski, South Bend, who appeared with a group of residents from the east side of Webster Lake.
Tio introduced the council to Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation’s new plan. It included being known for problems solved, being more than deal makers but becoming business buidlers.
“The new model for economic development is ‘We convene, build, and show our community’s economic growth resources.‘ We need all our communities to participate.” Council President Lisa Strombeck informed that council will consider the proposal, meet with Tio again if necessary, and make a decision soon.
Jones Petrie Rafinski has much experience in developing regional sewer services in Indiana and is currently involved in the Lake Tippecanoe-Chapman Lake project. Residents of the east shore of Webster Lake approached the design firm because they are interested in obtaining sewer service. A petition of 101 of the 180-182 homeowners not in the town limits wanting sewer service was presented.
Jones outlined the premise. He asked, “Does the town of North Webster want to expand their customer base for its waste treatment plant at no cost to the town? The treatment plant has the capacity to do the job for this many homes. It currently processes sewage for the Knapp Lake Regional Sewer District, which has less homes connected than the proposal.”
“The group on the east side is in the preliminary stages and needs to know if there is an interest,” he explained. He spoke of a couple of possible options for the group to use, either forming its own sewer district or working with Knapp Lake. The plan does not involve the town annexing the area or putting the area on its own sewer system.
Council member Dan Thystrup was concerned all homeowners have a chance to speak and be informed about the project. “What type of system will it be?” council member David Waliczek wanted to know? Jones reported it is too early to tell but possibly it would be some form of low pressure system. All property owners would have to connect and pay for the work on their property to do so. The average cost at Knapp Lake was about $1,300 per home but it depends on the length of pipe needing to be run. Afterward, a monthly fee would be paid by the property owners for the sewer system.
The Watershed Foundation Executive Director Lyn Crighton commented, “TWF is definitely for the project. It will improve the quality of the lake’s water.” Because Utilities Manager Jayne Alger was away on business, Stombeck asked if Jones could talk with her before any decision is made. He agreed.
During department reports Gage Rush spoke for utilities noting a foreclosure property has been mowed on TK Way and a lien will be filed for work done. Tammy Waliczek spoke for the park board saying things are going smoothly. Police Chief Greg Church noted Dixie Day Festival is Saturday, July 27, and council has already approved street closings.
The next town council meeting will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, in the North Webster Community Center, 301 N. Main St.