By Nicholette Carlson
NORTH WEBSTER — The majority of February’s monthly meeting Monday evening of the Tippecanoe and Chapman Regional Sewer District involved a project update on the preliminary engineering report from Steve Henschen with Jones Petrie Rafinski. Much of this information was also reviewed in the public hearing earlier that afternoon.
Henschen informed the board he would have two resolutions next month to present to the board for action. The formal state revolving fund loan application would also be presented next month. The applications are due by March 31.
The surveys and design are ongoing. Wetland surveys are being completed to add in buffer zones. The property owner database is now complete. This will be used to track and maintain easements necessary for construction. A plan is being put together regarding easement and land acquisition. It will be ready for next month’s meeting.
Easement information and letters to property owners will be put together and given to the board to review prior to next month’s meeting. Once the PER is approved, these letters will be sent out.
Information on the grinder stations was discussed. Grinder stations will be placed on or adjacent to the side property line and many will be shared with the adjacent property. These grinder stations will be placed as close to the road’s right of way as possible, but no more than 100 feet from the right of way. Control panels for the grinder stations will be placed immediately adjacent to the stations. Electricity for the control panel and grinder station will be provided by the district.
Property owners will have the ability to appeal the grinder station and certain exemptions, if they are met, may be at the owner’s expense. Henschen mentioned appeals will not be able to be accepted once bidding begins.
Regarding sharing a grinder station, it is believed that should be a district decision and not the decision of the property owner. Therefore, the location of the grinder system could be appealed, but not the adjacency.
Board members stated the PER presented by Henschen was a good draft, but they wished to go over and fine-tune some of the wording. The plan is to have the PER ready for approval next month.
As discussed at the public hearing, Henschen mentioned some updates to the PER, including the hybrid pressure and vacuum system alternative and the updated budget.
There was discussion regarding whether the board members signed an oath of office. While they knew they took one, they were unsure if anything was signed. It was agreed it would be looked into. It was also suggested internal controls and materiality policies be written, which would act as a checks and balances for funds. This may also be required for a potential audit when applying for the SRF loan.
In regards to property owners and easements, they will have the option to sign the necessary paperwork and mail it or email it back. Once office hours are established, they can also bring it into the office. The possibility of offering a remote notary service through Metropolitan Title was discussed, though this would be at cost to the property owner. Either way, many options will be provided.
The website has been updated with all meeting dates through the end of the year.
Four invoices needed approval from the board. The board unanimously approved the payment of these invoices.
The board discussed future office hours and the possibility of getting a specific phone number for the district. The main concern is the phone calls are answered and they are available to help the property owners.
Minutes for the previous meeting were approved. Minutes for the earlier public hearing are being assembled.