By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — Board members, engineers, financial consultant and attorney are anxiously awaiting word from the State Revolving Fund on what funding will be received for the new Tippecanoe-Chapman Regional Sewer District project.
It was noted during the district’s monthly board meeting, Monday, Sept. 13, it was originally believed the grant funds would be announced by the end of August. Then the announcement was moved to Sept. 10. But as of 6:30 p.m. Monday evening, no word had been received.
However, it was stated the USDA Rural Development officials are actively working with the SRF to get the project funded in the upcoming USDA fiscal year. That notification is expected around Oct. 1.
Until the funding amounts are known, the establishment of rates is in limbo.
During the meeting, it was business as usual for the board, moving ahead with various aspects of the project.
The board did approve the selection of ISCO Industries, Straeffer Pump and Supply and Franke Environmental Systems for polypropylene ball valves, combination air valves and flow meters. These businesses provided quotes on the items to lock in the equipment pricing for contractors during the bidding process. Their quotes came in below the engineer’s estimate.
Next the board will be advertising for pre-selection packages on pump station equipment and standby electrical generators. Upon the recommendation of Brian Davison, board member and Warsaw utility manager, they will also seek quotes for a pump station. Davison noted this station takes care of everything and works like a generator.
During the engineer’s report Steve Henschen, project engineer, updated the board on the progress of the survey work and design work. He also presented a guideline for the board to review for non-standard grinder station installations.
This brought a request for clarification and discussion on its necessity since customers will have an opportunity to appeal the location of the system. The survey involved questions expressed by homeowners and would be used as a road map during the appeals process of who would bare the cost for a change.
It was announced engineering staff will continue manning the district’s office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact with the office can be made by calling the JPR project office phone number (574) 226-8468 or emailing [email protected]
Several future customers did speak up during the meeting asking questions and seeking clarifications on matters.
Robert Paton questioned if check valves would be installed, which he was advised these would be required. He also noted that the determination of a campground status was “holding us up.”
He stated he had talked to several people and nothing has been set up. Andrew Boxberger, attorney, noted the board had yet defined a campground or mobile home court and the state’s definition by statute may not be the same as a sewer district’s definition.
“Should I get an attorney?” asked Paton, who was advised that would be up to him.
Boxberger stated he anticipates presenting the same definition used by Lakeland Regional Sewer District, which has been upheld by the courts.
Jarad Eberly and Steve Nifong also presented questions to the board. Eberly’s issue will be reviewed by the engineers and attorney as neither has had such an issue occur. Eberly’s home and septic system is outside the district, but part of the property is in the district.
Nifong sought clarification on rumors he had heard regarding signing easement documents and who pays for what on the project.
The next meeting of the district will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in the North Webster Community Center.