A joint informational meeting between the Huntingburg Common Council, the Board of Public Works, and the city’s Utility Rate Advisory Board gathered at Huntingburg City Hall last night to hear project details for the city’s planned Wastewater Force Main project.
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 project would replace the lift station on 19th Street while adding a lift station on Van Buren Street. The 19th Street lift station will be capable of 3 pumps, but for the time being would be use only two. Each pump is capable of a 2400 gallons a 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 affect 2100 Acres potentially.
Currently the wastewater force main being discussed is at capacity now even during dry weather.
The capacity issue is the main reason for this project as the Wastewater Force is focused mostly on the northwest side of Huntingburg where it just so happens a lot development has been taking place.
The Hunter’s Crossing housing project is a major expansion that the city foresees will benefit from the new wastewater force main, and there is the potential for expansion in the Industrial Park. However if this project were not to unfold, capacity issues could present Huntingburg with some significant problems.
Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner says the project is important to the city’s growth.
The estimated cost for the Wastewater Force Main project is 4.3 million dollars.
The cost breakdown is 3.48 million for construction with a contingency allowance of $244,000, engineering cost around $450,000, and insurance costs comprise the remainder of the budget.
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.
Buzz Krohn displayed a chart that showed Huntingburg will still have one of the lower wastewater rates in the surrounding area. Based on a 4,000 gallon per household estimate, the rate will still be under $50.