Wednesday, April 21, 2004

20 April 2004 Sewer Board Working Meeting

The sewer board had 100% attendance. Present were: Mike Hankins, Chair, Pat Hanlon, Brett Fehrman, Greg Vollmer, Pat Holland, Barry Pruss, and Rodney Dennerline. Also present were Lisa Lehner, Attorney, Joe Tierney, GRW consultant, and Vera Benning, Special Advisor.

1. Minor changes were made to the wording of the easement document requiring restoration of property after maintenance and repairs to the sewer equipment and lines. Approved by vote.

2. Mike Hankins conducted a detailed item-by-item review of the FAQ sheet to be given to homeowners prior to the May 19th meeting.
Approximately 15 homes are greater than 400 feet from the line per Joe Tierney. The board opted to keep the language the same as the state law regarding the 300 ft. from the property line rule. If a home is greater than 500 feet from the line- there may be other options to consider.
The sewer board will have to pay prevailing wages because federal dollars are being used to subsidize the district. Homeowners will not have to follow those rules for their part of the construction from the shut off and grinder pump to the home. The service agreement will include an abuse clause in the event that homeowners do damage to the pumps. Grinders will have a standard 50 ft. cord and the outside electric service is a 220 line. There will be a gravity connection from the house to the pump in most cases. Homeowners will have to locate their lines and tell the district where to locate the grinder pump.
At the suggestion of Brett Fehrman, the board decided that connection fees of $800 would be waived if the easements are signed and the land is donated by June 25th. A federal document will be given out to homeowners advising them that they are entitled to payment for easements. Survey costs and legal fees will likely eat up those payments, and the district costs would be passed on to all the sewer customers. The $800 cost will be recouped in $2-3 monthly fees on the sewer bills rather than an up-front outlay of expense to hook-up for the customer. This only applies to those who meet the June 25th deadline.
There are 25 homes that have new septic systems less than 5 years old. They have the option to wait 3 years to hook up, HOWEVER they will incur all the expense of hook-up fees, pumps, etc. If a homeowner will be there long term it is economically smarter to hook up for “free” now.
Dennerline motioned and Holland seconded to approve the FAQ revisions. Approved by vote.

3. Doug Baer updated the board on the status of the funding sought from Lawrenceburg. It was decided that they would submit the application for $100,000 to the Lawrenceburg Municipal fund managed by the Community Foundation before July 1. Dennerline will make a personal contact with Mayor Cunningham regarding this request also.
Seitz Insurance blanket bonded everyone except the Treasurer and Doug Baer who handle district money. They will get separate bonds. Doug is checking to be sure the advisory committee members are covered as well.
They have a federal tax ID number now and no worker’s comp, because they have no employees yet.

4. Doug Baer brought up two subdivision requests, the Old Gabbard Property on US 50 needing service by Fall 2005 and also the Soaphill Road project from Rollander Enterprises that is going before the Planning Commission April 26th.
Discussion on Gabbard property included the following comments:
Mike Hankins – Likes to focus on doing one thing right first before moving on. The primary focus is to get service to the 300 homes the district has taken on right now.
Pat Hanlon- this will affect the grants and funding because low-income status would change.
Lisa Lehner – We are still waiting on IDEM’s response to the grants.
Joe Tierney – We’re looking at 2006 before these people will be on sewer lines. Gabbard wants to start in 2005.
Lisa Lehner – Sewer districts are not in the development business. They exist for safety issues.
Rodney Dennerline – The developers will provide all their own lines and pumps and pay to join plus pay for plant expansion of plant capacity. No further discussion till May 4th meeting.

Discussion on the Soaphill property included the following comments:
Doug Baer- It is a mound system on Lot 14 and the POA will have private ownership of the “utility.” I told them we might take it over later, down the road. IDEM is in charge of it. They are no longer using a drip irrigation system for this- it is a mound system.
Rodney Dennerline – It is NOT in our district! I don’t like the POA owning it – problems.
Mike Hankins – That’s a bad location for a subdivision.
Pat Hanlon – I don’t think it’s irrational to put one there though.
Greg Vollmer – A package plant would be better if the sewer board were to ever take it over.
Rodney Dennerline- we’re opening a Pandora’s box – we’re not up and running – and we would end up with a whole bunch of these.
Pat Hanlon – I’d like to see our sewer board take over the whole county eventually, so we’d approach things in a responsible, engineered way.
Rodney Dennerline – The purpose was to take over the whole county eventually. We can’t give an answer now- we’re not ready! If we say yes and if we fold, he sues us.
Doug Baer- I’m going to require a secondary site for this mound field.
Lisa Lehner - We’re not prepared to offer him anything now. This is partly by IDEM’s order.
Mike Hankins I’m strongly against this. He hasn’t been “kissed by everyone else yet” – Planning and Zoning hasn’t kissed it yet, so we aren’t either.
Doug Baer- I have to give him an answer tomorrow.
Consensus was that they wouldn’t (couldn’t) provide service.
5. Vera Benning- Advisory Committee- report – Meeting for homeowners to get easements will be May 19th 7:30 PM at the Starlight Reception Hall on US 50. Invitation letters and FAQ sheets will be mailed out. Hankins and Lisa Lehner will review the letter. They will also include a short description of who and what the advisory committee is. Audio-visual aids and pump demonstrations plus maps of the lines will be available that night for viewing. Holland motioned and Dennerline seconded to approve this. Approved by vote.

6. Doug Baer suggested a “last chance” meeting for June 22 at 7:30 PM at the Reception Hall also. This was approved by consensus.

7. Joe Tierney will mail the rural development grant applications now. This has to proceed before the DOC grants. (Board thought he’d done that from last meeting.)
Joe also passed out answers to the capacity questions from last meeting for the board to review.

8. Pat Hanlon reported that he’d contacted Bruns at the Seymour office and Mark Brunner from INDOT to be certain the district could use the US 50 ROW. Drawings will be submitted to INDOT for line placement.

9. Brett Fehrman will hand deliver the list of questions to the Mayor Hastings of Aurora- they “lost” the last one.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller Lawrenceburg Township

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