Minutes- February 27, 2019

Meeting Minutes- February 27, 2019


The Churubusco Town Council met for a special meeting on February 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. Members present were Council Members Mark Pepple, Bruce Johnson, and Nathan Van Horn; and Clerk- Treasurer, Madalyn Sade-Bartl. Also in attendance was area resident Miles Wilson; a reporter for Churubusco News; Jeremy Hart, Town Supervisor, Ron Felger, Town Attorney, and Wastewater Superintendent, Bob Gray.


Mr. Johnson called the meeting to order, welcomed visitors, and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll was called by the Clerk-Treasurer. President Pepple was absent for roll but arrived shortly after. Ms. Bartl stated the purpose of the meeting was discuss the connection of the Whitley County Regional Sewer District to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. However, other issues could also be discussed. Since it was a public meeting, votes could be cast at the meeting if the Council so chose.


Old Business:

Mr. Johnson began the discussion and stated he had mentioned to Lana from the RSD that the Town may be interested in purchasing the RSD in a few years after the Town’s bond was up. Lana also stated their project was going to cost about $2 million. Ms. Bartl stated that when the Town looked at extending sewer to the area, it was $4 million. Mr. Hart explained why their projections were half the cost and it was due to multiple house being hooked to one grinder, similar to Blue Lake Conservancy District. Our plans did not include grinders and included at least three lift stations being purchased. Hart, Gray, and Bartl all voiced their opposition to that setup and were not in favor of taking over those customers in the future if that was how things were set up in the area. President Pepple agreed it was inferior to how we would do it had we extended service to the area.


Mr. Van Horn updated the Council on his conversation with Lana. She had told him that the service fee would cover any updates needed to the Plant. Ms. Bartl asked what Lana had estimated for the annual revenue. Van Horn stated she had stated $48,000. Ms. Bartl stated that was only equal to 6 months of their current bond payment, so should the Plant need a major upgrade and the Town would have to bond the project, their fees would not cover those upgrades, no to mention the increased costs the Town would incur for treating the waste. Mr. Van Horn also stated Lana had asked about the possibility of the utility office allowing payment drop off for their customers. Ms. Bartl was very against that idea.


Mr. Hart stated he had contacted IDEM, but had not heard back from them, but the Plant’s average last year was 67% capacity and it had went over 80% four times. He stated IDEM is going to look back at those same numbers when making a decision to even allow the RSD to hook up to the Plant, and because of the number of times it had reached 80%, IDEM was more than likely going to deny the permit request. Mr. Johnson asked if fixing infiltration would change IDEM’s position. Ms. Bartl stated even if all the infiltration was fixed, it really didn’t matter because IDEM would still look at historic figures, so until the “fixed” numbers were included in the historic figures, IDEM would not take the fixes into account when approving or denying a permit.


President Pepple made a motion to not to allow the connection of the RSD at this time because there were too many unknowns and our Plant was not prepared for their connection. Mr. Van Horn seconded, and the motion carried 3-0.


President Pepple made another motion to get quotes for a strategic plan for the Sewer Plant. Mr. Van Horn seconded, and the motion carried 3-0. Ms. Bartl stated she would coordinate with Mr. Gray and IDEM and get the bid advertisement prepared and advertised. She stated that it would be at least a month before a bid was awarded for that project.


Having no other business, President Pepple adjourned the meeting.




Council President, Mark Pepple



Council Member, Bruce Johnson                ATTEST:




Council Member, Nathan Van Horn



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