Brownstown council pursuing grant



Brownstown officials hope to obtain a $50,000 grant from the state to complete a study to determine the need to replace some of the town’s wastewater treatment system.

The town council made the decision to pursue the grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, also known as OCRA, during a recent meeting.

Grant consultant Shannon McLeod with Greensburg-based Priority Private Resources said she has been meeting with Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of the town’s wastewater utility, about issues with the system.

“We’re looking at the wastewater treatment plant and the Bob Thomas and Vallonia Road lift stations,” said McLeod, who has been helping the town obtains grants for more than 20 years.

She said if the town receives the grant, it will need to provide a local match of $6,000. Those funds, which would cover the costs of applying for grant, including McLeod’s fee, would come from the wastewater treatment plant operating fund.

The grant deadline is Thursday.

The town recently sought bids from engineering firms to conduct the study, and the only company that submitted a statement of qualifications to do so was Wessler Engineering of Indianapolis. That firm has worked with the town in the past.

Hunsucker gave a brief review of the most serious issues that need to be addressed by replacing equipment.

He said the Bob Thomas lift station, which sits just off U.S. 50 on the north side of town, is 40-plus years old.

“It’s hard to get parts for,” he said.

The Vallonia Road lift station is 35 years old. It sits on the southwest side of town, serves 75% of the town and has reached capacity, Hunsucker said.

He said the lift stations have no automatic transfer switch for storms and must be turned on manually if they shut down.

He said one of the clarifiers at the wastewater treatment plant is 35 years old and another is 25 years old. The clarifiers provide retention to slow water down and separate out suspended particles.

“Both are hard to get parts for,” Hunsucker said.

He said the plant’s ultraviolet light system also is obsolete and needs replaced. Ultraviolet light systems disinfect wastewater by destroying disease-causing organisms, which prevents them from reproducing.

Earlier this year, Hunsucker told the council replacing the two clarifiers could cost $450,000 and the ultraviolet system would cost another $150,000 to replace.

McLeod said if the town receives the grant, it would take a year for the study to be completed, and it would 2022 before any work could begin.

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