Ten minutes after the Lakeland Regional Sewer District board closed its special public meeting Thursday evening, June 4, President Jim Haney opened the board’s regular monthly meeting at the North Webster Community Center. The board agreed to draw $7,000 from its current bond to pay monthly bills, including invoices to its legal team and contractors.
As a condition of the loan that will pay for the sewer district, the USDA set a series of requirements. One of those is a separate checking account to funnel funds from loans and grants to contractors. Mike Dewald, board member, recommended the board set up with account with Lake City Bank, where the board currently banks. Bob Sanders, board member, asked that each check paid out of the accounts be signed by two board members to keep a system of checks and balances. This motion was approved by role call.
The board also voted by role call to adopt both the rate ordinance and use ordinance, both of which were reviewed several times. The set rate for each residential dwelling unit is $69.95.
The board is set to sign construction contracts during the July meeting, after sending each contract to its legal team for review. After signing, construction is set to begin July 6 or 7.
During the final portion of the monthly meeting the board addressed what to do with property owners who have not signed easement agreements — some 60 residents. During discussion with a public member, board members showed regret for those who did not sign, but noted that any efforts to hook up to the new grinder system after installation would be at a cost to those individuals. One estimate to purchase a grinder and install the new system came in at over $12,000.
The board declined to provide an exact figure for such a situation but stated, “It won’t be cheap.”
Another resident, Jon Caudell, North Webster, asked the board how to handle a brand new sewer system that had been installed but was now rendered useless by this project. Caudell noted his project began in 2013, and as a result of discussions with the LRSD board and Indiana Department of Health he was under the impression his sewer would be among the exemptions handed out.
Board members informed Caudell the window for exemptions had closed in December 2013, and they felt he had been misinformed by the IDOH.
“I feel for this gentleman,” said Sanders.
The board will hold its next meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2.