LEESBURG — Town Council on Monday, Feb. 10, agreed to spend $55,747 for a power upgrade and electrical equipment at the main lift station.
Derek Tenney of Tenney & Sons, Inc., Warsaw, provided a sanitary sewer report addressing call-ins related to pump issues.
The biggest issue, Tenney said, was at Avalign Technologies, on SR 15, where a rag was found at the bottom of one of the pumps.
Council President Doug Jones suggested that no fines should be imposed.
“Given their willingness to take care of the damage, I would suggest we just charge them for the damage,” Jones said. “I don’t see any reason to fine them. I’m sure they’re not throwing the stuff in on purpose.”
Jones said that in the process of manufacturing, “sometimes things end up where they’re not supposed to.”
Jones then addressed ongoing issues with residents flushing improper items.
“One of the issues we’re having with these pump stations — the grinder pumps at your house – we were told when the manufacturers sold these pumps to the town that you could grind a golf ball with them,” Jones said. “And they will grind up a golf ball — unfortunately, they won’t process these baby wipes.”
The town has signs available reminding people not to flush baby wipes and other prohibited items. The signs are being offered at no cost as part of the “No Wipes in the Pipes” campaign.
Jones is encouraging business owners and landlords to take advantage of this offer and place the signs at their businesses and rental properties.
Wipes are not permitted in the septic system, Jones said, even if the packaging on the wipes implies they are flushable.
“It’s not something that just affects the town of Leesburg,” Jones said. “We’re trying desperately to hold the rates down in town. We’ve got to have the public’s help with this because these pump repairs are killing us.”
Jones then talked about ongoing issues at the main lift station involving the power source.
“Unfortunately, over the course of time, it would appear that our circuit boards for the pump station have suffered the effects of not having the correct power,” Jones said.
He described past attempts to fix the ongoing issues as “chasing demon after demon.”
“We fix a symptom and we have another symptom crop up and this continues on and on and on,” Jones said. “We’ve had multiple people look at it. The system has been on bypass since Thanksgiving, which means it’s all being forced down the line by our small pumps here in town.”
Jones said even though the individual pods in town will maintain enough pressure to push the sewage through, he is concerned about the damage being done to the pumps by putting unnecessary pressure on them.
“At this point, the best thing to do would be to just start fresh,” Jones said. “Not a cheap proposition, but given that we have spent inordinate amounts of money chasing these issues, I personally feel like it’s the way to go.”
A quote from NIPSCO shows a cost of $8,049 to install the correct transformers on the power station. A quote was received from D&D Electric, Etna Green, in the amount of $47,700 for electrical equipment at the main lift station,
Jones said part of the problem stems from the fact that the company that installed the current equipment went out of business almost immediately following installation of the equipment.
“We really haven’t had any one person to call,” Jones said. “We’ve gone back to the manufacturers but have not been able to go back to the actual installer.”
“We’ve fixed symptoms but we’re not fixing the root cause of the problem,” Jones said. “As much as I hate to spend the money, I’m going to make a recommendation that we do that.”
“I don’t think we can let it continue this way,” Council Vice-President Christina Archer agreed.
A motion was made and approved to accept the quotes from Nipsco and D&D Electric and move forward with the upgrades.
Rich Haddad, K21 Health Foundation president and CEO, attended the meeting to discuss a pledge that K21 Foundation announced in September 2019.
The pledge includes working with nine towns — Claypool, Etna Green, Leesburg, Mentone, Milford, North Webster, Pierceton, Silver Lake and Syracuse.
Each town will have an opportunity to receive up to $200,000 for projects that focus on health and wellness opportunities in their community.
“Our biggest need right now would probably be our curb and gutter situation,” Jones said. “Does that fall under that criteria?”
“If it would improve pedestrian activity, that’s possible,” Haddad responded.
“We’re excited to invest back in Leesburg,” Haddad said. ”This is an open commitment on our part to help Leesburg.”
- Street Commissioner Craig Charlton gave a monthly report, which included information related to equipment status and ordinance violations.
- No parking is allowed on any street in Leesburg between 3-5 a.m.
- No burning is allowed in the town of Leesburg.
- Residents are responsible for removing snow from their sidewalks, according to town ordinance.
- A complete list of town ordinances may be accessed at https://www.leesburgindiana.com/information
- The next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. March 9.