By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — A preliminary proposal for working definitions of equivalent dwelling units within Tippecanoe and Chapman Regional Sewer Districts was presented Monday evening, Jan. 10, at the board’s monthly meeting.
Andrew Boxberger, attorney, presented the proposal via Zoom, stating the definitions set out by special committee were not at the point to require a vote or passage at this time. “It will require a public hearing,” Boxberger stated. The purpose of the working definitions and working EDUs is to provide Baker Tilly an idea of the number of EDUs to create rates for the district.
The proposal included several unique definitions for campground, non-sewage producing garage, guesthouse, mixed mobile home and campground as well as those established by state law. Several examples of unique definitions were provided by Boxberger. One such example was a guesthouse. He stated this would be a structure that contains a non-leased dwelling unit, located on the same and/or adjacent lot as a single-family dwelling, that would have sewer producing capabilities.
It was additionally noted the committee held a discussion and debate requiring a guesthouse with sewer producing capabilities be recorded with the deed. That record would state if that property is sold off separately a new grinder pump would be required.
Jon Tyler, board president, noted the proposal included areas he was hoping the group would look at and he was “happy with what they came up” for the EDU count needed.
Jeff Thornburgh, board member, also participating via Zoom, stated he felt the subcommittee put together “a pretty good document for the preliminary rate calculations.”
Steve Henschen, Jones Petrie Rafinski senior engineer, noted members of his staff along with Baker Tilly staff members, will be driving throughout the district at the end of the month to obtain an inventory for an EDU count.
A public hearing to further accept the definitions and rates is expected to be held in April or May, even as late as June, according to Henschen and Jeff Rowe with Baker Tilly. The USDA Rural Development requires all permits and a large percentage of easement documents to be in hand before bids can be awarded.
During other business:
Henschen provided updates on the project’s survey and design work and easement and land acquisitions. He noted meetings will be scheduled with county highway and county planning officials to review the site plan and driveway locations yet this month, as well as submitting construction permit applications with various county, state and federal agencies.
It was stated 43.7% of the easement acquisition packages have been returned and a second mailing has gone out with a March 1 deadline. USDA Rural Development requires a large percentage of easement acquisitions to be in hand before the project can proceed further. It was also stated four of the five land acquisition locations for pump stations have been signed with the final location to be signed off in a couple weeks.
The board also approved status quo regarding officers for the year and meeting time, date and locations.
Tyler will continue as board president; Chuck Simpson as vice president; and Kim Hathaway as secretary/treasurer.
The meetings will continue to be held at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the meeting room of the North Webster Community Center.