Town To Turn Attention To Water Utility Improvement

Now that $3.5 million sewer plant renovation is nearly completed, the Crothersville Town Council will turn its attention to improvements needed with the town’s water utility.

Brad Bender, engineer with FPBH of North Vernon, said that the construction work is complete with the sewer project. “We are on track to be done by the end of the month with paying all bills,” he said, adding, “Distribution of funds won’t occur until the town council is satisfied with all work and the functioning of the plant.”

He said FPBH will continue to monitor the project through March.

But their work may not be totally completed with the town as council president Ardell Mitchell wants to now focus on water utility improvements.

“We know the wells at (Countryside) ball park need maintenance. We know some water lines need replaced. We have had to deal with numerous leaks. But what all else should the town focus on with the water utility?” Mitchell asked.

He suggested that the town initiate a preliminary Engineering Report on the status and condition of the town’s water utility.

Bender explained that the report would outline for the town “What do you have? What and where are the problems? What are some of the solution?”

Mitchell noted at a Preliminary Engineering Report lays the groundwork and the justification for another grant process such as the town received for the sewer project.

Cost of the preliminary engineering report would be $5,000 according to Bender.

The council unanimously approved beginning the engineering report process.

“We have a good relationship with FPBH and they have good a good job looking after our interests on the sewer project,” said Mitchell. “This will be a good investment to let us know on paper where we stand with maintenance and inventory in the town’s water system.”

The last major work on the water system occurred about eight years ago when the often leaking lines along US 31 were replaced.

In a water utility related matter, the town agreed to sell the old water treatment plant property on North Kovener Street to Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson whose offer was the highest of the four bidders for the property. Robinson, who also sits on the town council, bid $7,600 for the small lot with a concrete block building.

The appraised value of the property was $12,500. Since the highest bid was less than 90% of the property’s appraised value, a public notice ad is found in this week’s Crothersville Times notifying the public of the town’s intention to dispose of the property below its appraised value.

In other matters, the council:

•Re-elected Ardell Mitchell as council president.

•Re-appointed John Rothring as town attorney.

•Agreed to keep regular monthly town council meetings at 5:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month.

•Learned that Chief of Police Richard Hanlin will be recommending three names for the council to consider hiring as a new police officer.

•Elevated Chris Mains to street and water utility superintendent at a pay rate of $15 per hour.

•Learned that the town’s request for a comprehensive planning grant was submitted by the December deadline and that the town should receive word on the outcome of its application by the end of January.

•Learned that an awning will be installed on the front entrance of town hall at a cost of $500.

•It was announced that the town hall will be closed next Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of Martin Luther King’s Birthday.