Council moves toward stormwater utility


BROWNSTOWN — Brownstown officials took an early step toward possibly establishing a stormwater utility to address issues with the storm sewer drainage system.

During a council meeting Monday evening at the town hall, the town council voted 4-0 to have an Indianapolis engineering firm proceed with a planning study of the town’s stormwater system.

The work would be paid for through contingency monies from a $6.5 million loan the town obtained from the State Revolving Fund to pay for improvements to the sanitary sewer, two lift stations and the wastewater treatment plant. The town also is required to use some of that funding to address stormwater issues.

A project to improve the sanitary sewer system is in the process of winding down, but work has just started on improvements to the more than 40-year-old Bob Thomas lift station off of U.S. 50 on the north end of town and the 35-year-old Vallonia Road lift station on the south side of town.

Mary Atkins, vice president of Wessler Engineering, spoke with the council via videoconferencing Monday and said the study would cost somewhere between $38,000 and $39,000.

“I will just clarify that this study will give you kind of a layout of how you could set up your stormwater utility,” she said. “The next step would be a rate study to say how much you would need to charge for a stormwater utility, and then the council would have to decide to move forward with it. So this is not saying you are going to establish a stormwater utility, but this will set all of the framework for you to then make that decision.”

Atkins said Wessler could have the study completed within six months but could do it quicker if the council decided it was needed sooner.

She also said Wessler would need to have an advisory group of town employees, including maybe someone from the council and someone from the clerk-treasurer’s office, responsible for utility billing.

“We need their input to help us to establish some policies,” Atkins said.

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