Huntingburg City Council Meeting

On the heels of last week’s joint informational meeting between the Huntingburg Common Council, the Board of Public Works, and the city’s Utility Rate Advisory Board in regards to the city’s planned Wastewater Force Main project, the Huntingburg City Council last night conducted a first reading of ordinances to approve the bonds to fund the project.

The project would replace the city’s lift station on 19th Street while adding a station on Van Buren Street.  The 19th Street station will be capable of 3 pumps, but for the time being would use only two.  Each pump is capable of a 2400 gallons per minute flow. The Van Buren lift station will consist of only two pumps.

New 16 inch piping will be laid, replacing the current 8 inch line for the 19th street lift station, and a separate 8 inch line would be added for the Van Buren station. The Force Main Project could potentially affect 2100 Acres.

Currently the wastewater force main is at capacity now even during dry weather.

Last Thursday night presentations from Gary Ladd, with Ladd Engineering, and Buzz Krohn, with OW Krohn & Associates, focused on the project’s details and how it would be funded.

The estimated cost for the Wastewater Force Main project is 4.3 million dollars.

Funding sources for the project include the proposed 2016 Sewage Works Revenue Bonds at about 1.4 million dollars, the Junior Loan from the Electric Utility also at 1.4 million, and the remaining amount will come from TIF funds in the amount of 1.5 million dollars.

In order to cover the costs of the expansion a utility rate increase for wastewater will be needed.  A future meeting will decide between two routes for an increase.  The first is a one step rate increase of 18%.

The second is a 2 phase rate increase, with first phase being 11.7% and the second phase 6.3%, adding up to a total increase of 18%.  Even if the city decided against the project, an 11.7% increase is still needed just to fund current operations.

The council will have to conduct a final reading at their next meeting in order to pass the ordinance.

LOMA HARTKE HONORED

Also last night the Huntingburg Council approved a resolution to name the city’s Utility Service Building on Van Buren & Main St in honor of former utility superintendent Loma Hartke.

Current superintendent John Reutepohler made the recommendation with the support of Mayor Denny Spinner to name the building after Hartke as part of an effort to recognize his many years of service to the community.

Mayor Spinner says the recognition is appropriate for Hartke’s work in keeping the city in the forefront as a leader in utility supply.

Hartke served as the city electric utility superintendent for 40 years.  He passed away in 2014.

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