Sewer repairs put at $4.1 million



A recent sewer inspection in Brownstown revealed the need for repair and cleaning projects totaling $4.1 million.

The sanitary sewer system, like many others in communities across southern Indiana, was installed in the 1950s, and it’s time to start making repairs, one town official contends.

Town Council President John Nolting said he didn’t know about the thoughts of other council members, but he thought it was important the town began working on at least the top-priority projects listed in a recent study

by Wessler Engineering

of Indianapolis.

“Infrastructure … you have to take care of this kind of stuff,” Nolting said during a council meeting Monday.

During that meeting, grant consultant Shannon McLeod presented estimated costs for Priority 1 projects as recommended by Wessler ($555,200) and Priority 1 and 2 projects ($1,306,300).

Priority 1 projects would address the most serious defects, those most likely to fail the soonest. The study found 19 public defects (areas of inflow and infiltration of water into the system) and 53 defects on private property.

Common defects included major offsets of joints, roots protruding through joints hindering flow of sewage and possible collapse of pipes.

McLeod said the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which administers federal and state grant money, will approve only $400,000 for projects costing less than a $1 million. That means the town will have to come up with $155,200 of its own money to pay for Priority 1 projects.

That’s money the town has in its sewer improvement fund, Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said.

McLeod said she plans to meet with engineers from Wessler, Scott Hunsucker, the town’s wastewater treatment plant manager, and a couple of council members to determine the scope of the work to better define costs. That will occur before the council’s Jan. 20 meeting.

She said the deadline for filing a grant is not available but probably will be in the April to June time frame.

Grant awards won’t be announced until September, and bid letting and construction would not begin before the spring of 2016.

After the meeting, Nolting said that if the state denies the town the grant during this cycle, either the work would have to wait or the town would have to borrow the funds to complete Priority 1 work.

Another $2.7 million in projects will eventually be needed.

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