City officials approved the latest round of funding for a sanitary and sewer project that is under construction on Seymour’s southeast side.
The board of public works approved a fifth installment of $595,810.05 with Atlas Excavating Inc. during a recent meeting. The overall contract for the project with the West Lafayette-based company is $11.5 million.
The figure includes $66,201.72 in retainer funds. Those funds help ensure all obligations of the project are fulfilled in case additional work is needed after its completion.
The contract includes the installation of sewer infrastructure, including a lift station, piping and materials, said Randy Hamilton, director of the Seymour Water Pollution Control Facility.
Construction on the project, which has an overall price tag of $15.5 million, began late last summer, and Hamilton said it is 36 percent complete.
He said the project is moving along quickly with a projected completion date for early this summer.
“It’s proceeding well,” he said, noting the original estimated completion date was December.
The new 60-inch sanitary sewer line will intercept and divert sewage flow from East Tipton Street, taking it south along Sandy Branch Creek to a regional lift station at East County Road 340N, allowing the city to discontinue the use of several existing lift stations.
Sewage flow would then continue through a proposed force main from the lift station west toward South Walnut Street on its way to connecting with an existing line that would carry it to the city’s water pollution control plant.
Currently, the city has a self-imposed sewer ban in the affected area, meaning no new sewer hookups are being allowed east of Burkart Boulevard. That ban will end once the project is complete, Hamilton said.
He said engineers from the company inspect the project from time to time to make sure it is moving along and everything is being done.
“The city inspects it each day, though,” he said.
Mayor Craig Luedeman said the project originated to ease sewer capacity issues and open up an area of the city for future residential and commercial growth.
The project was first proposed in 2013, but roadblocks with property acquisition delayed it. Progress was halted while those issues were resolved in court.
The project is in the area of a new Opportunity Zone, created last year as part of the President Donald Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Seymour’s Opportunity Zone is a 1,500-acre census tract that encompasses the area where Silgan Plastics is located on the city’s far south side all the way north to the CSX rail line near Cummins Seymour Engine Plant.
The program provides federal tax incentives to developers for private investment in low-income urban and rural communities.