Money to help alleviate Crothersville’s draining, flooding problems



Crothersville is receiving a lift from the state to help alleviate drainage and flooding issues on the north end of the town.

On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced Crothersville is one of 21 rural Hoosier communities receiving federal grant funding, which totaled $11 million.

The town is one of seven recipients of $550,000 through the Wastewater Drinking Water Program. That program’s goals are to protect the health and environment, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate income communities and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth. Eligible projects include many aspects of wastewater improvements and drinking water system improvements.

The town will have to provide a local match of $144,272, which likely will come from the water utility and sewer utility operating funds.

Trena Carter with Administrative Resources association, the town’s grant writer, said if the cost of the project comes in lower, the local match would be lower. If it comes in higher, the match would be a little more.

Crothersville’s wastewater system improvements will significantly reduce the inflow and infiltration of the Seymour Road lift station and directly impact the wastewater treatment plant.

“I’m relieved to know that the town can get some assistance to not only upgrade and repair the lift station but also address some combined sewer issues in that same area,” said Mason Boicourt, Crothersville’s wastewater superintendent.

“It’s a perfect scenario to be able to address multiple issues within one project,” he said. “It would be extremely hard for the town to do this work without some assistance through funding such as this.”

Following heavy rain events in recent years, residents living near the lift station have experienced drainage and flooding problems.

To help the town have a better shot at the grant, Carter asked residents to submit letters and photos to show how their property is affected and put those with the grant application.

Boicourt said the lift station is one of three in Crothersville. There’s also lift stations along Moore Street east of town and U.S. 31 south of town. Both of them are less than 15 years old.

The one on Seymour Road, however, was installed in the 1960s. It was a pneumatic lift station years ago until switching to submersible in the early 2000s, Boicourt said.

He said they experience periodic trouble with the lift station, and over time, they have had a lot of problems with various items clogging it. He also said the lift station has no backup power, doesn’t have a good alarm system attached to it and has been leaking. The wet well and access ladder are deteriorating, too.

Crothersville’s funding is a part of the third round of the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. The state distributes those funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects, including improving infrastructure, downtown revitalization, public facilities improvements and economic development.

“The importance of CDBG funding cannot be overstated,” said Jodi Golden, executive director of OCRA. “These grants have an incredibly positive impact on communities across our state by building new community facilities, improving quality of place and providing necessary improvements to local infrastructure.”

Feedback for communities not funded will be provided by the CDBG Program director in the coming weeks.

The first round of the 2018 CDBG Program will begin April 16 with proposals due May 25. Final applications are due at 4 p.m. Aug. 16.

“We must continue to provide support for our rural communities if we want to keep Indiana’s economy thriving,” Crouch said.

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