By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — Funding options, a mission statement, district logo, by-laws, and subcommittees were highlights of the Tippecanoe & Chapman Lakes Regional Sewer District meeting Monday night, June 8. Approximately a dozen people attended the meeting.
Chad Miner, district attorney, alerted the board it would need to reach out to get financing from private sources as the amount was not feasible for the county to provided until state or federal funds are awarded. It was noted a maximum of $250,000 is needed to hire advisors for financing, bonding, and necessary studies, along with construction cost for a total of $3.5 million. This money is reimbursable.
Additionally Ken Jones with Jones Petrie Rafinski noted the possibility of getting USDA rural development funds which is comparable with SRF interest rates.
Jones expanded on the financing options. He noted a plan/budget needed to be submitted to the SRF. He noted the structure is done and nothing is not typical. He suggested going to a local bank or more for a bond anticipation note. Jones also went over the initial costs of engineering, supporting information documents, wetlands evaluation, historical and archeological studies and other areas. He stated documents can be written for board approval noting the amount will not exceed a specified limit.
Jones suggested seeking one bond up to $3.5 million. Miner and Jones both noted it will cost approximately $40-$50,000 per bond issuance.
Jones stressed the only deadline really looming is with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in which the district has to file a plan within nine months. This deadline is in September. “What has been filed (preliminary engineering report) is almost a complete plan,” he said noting he will check with IDEM to see how much more is desired to make it a viable district and structure.
Ed Ornsby noted he would appreciate keeping costs as low as possible and encouraged Jones to have dialogue with state officials.
To help speed along the funding options and hiring of professional advisors two subcommittees were established. A subcommittee to review engagement agreements with professional advisors will consist of Jon Tyler and Kim Hathaway. Brian Davison, who was not present, will also be asked to serve on that committee. The finance subcommittee will consist of Ornsby, Hathaway and Chuck Simpson, to review funding options.
During other business the board approved the mission statement presented by Simpson. The mission is: “The Tippecanoe Chapman Lakes Regional Sewer District is committed to providing safe, high quality, cost effective sanitary wastewater services to our community while maintaining a standard of excellence in environmental conservation.”
Additionally the members chose one of the 16 district logo variations created by the staff at JPR. The logo chosen features a T as if it is a surfer riding a wave up to the C as the water crests. The name of the conservancy is below.
Work will now begin on establishing the district’s website. The domain tippychapmanrsd.com has been purchased. The staff at JPR will work with Jeff Thornburgh on content and is expected to be up and running in July.
The board also approved the by-laws presented by Miner. The by-laws will now be sent to the boards of the Tippecanoe and Plain township advisory boards, Warsaw city and county commissioners for approval.
A lease agreement was signed to continue meeting at the North Webster Community Center for the remainder of the year. It was also noted office space is available should the district wish to establish an office in the building.
A time was allowed for public input, in which four residents — Greg Fitzloff, Betsy Williams, Karen Bedwell and Gary Adams — made additional funding source suggestions, questioned posting of the agenda on the website, requested clarification on the service provider decision, monthly costs per property, if consideration had or will be given to such entities as mobile home parks or campgrounds used only six months, initial rates and explanation of temporary holding tanks including how often the tanks would need pumped and a cost.
Responses to several of the questions included the fact registered campgrounds would be metered and monthly costs are estimated at $75-$85 per month. Regarding initial rates, Jones noted a 48-month completion before hook up is anticipated, making it early 2022. The initial rates could be one-half or one-fourth the monthly bill.
Jacob Yahne, a resident of the east side of Webster Lake, asked if the district would consider adding that area. Jones, who has worked with the residents in that area, stated this is the only area of Webster Lake not on sewer. He noted the district could include that portion as there are no contiguous borders for a regional sewer district. However, normally the request would come through the county commissioners. He then explained the steps. Other options for that group would be Lakeland Regional Sewer and Turkey Creek Regional Sewer.
The final decision would be up to the respective regional sewer district board.