County to seek proposals for regional sewer district

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Work on a regional sewer district has stalled, and engineering firm Clark Dietz wants to help the Dubois County Commissioners get the process rolling again.

Mary Austin, Clark Dietz’s southern Indiana and Kentucky area manager, gave the commissioners on Monday two proposed contracts for the company’s services.

One would be for on-call services, which would include the various meetings to gather information, discussing ideas with the nine communities in the county, compiling information and documents from different stakeholders, and holding public meetings. The other would have Clark Dietz crafting a study that would look at the configuration of a regional district, the costs for installing one and funding sources, including loans and grants.

Some meetings have been held to discuss the feasibility of a regional district, said Commissioner Nick Hostetter, who has been involved in those meetings on behalf of the commissioners.

“We had some momentum going,” he said. “But we lack the expertise here locally, inside county government. Shawn Werner [of the county health department] was instrumental in getting this started. But because he has taken on the new position of director, he just doesn’t have the time to have it on his plate right now.”

Hostetter asked Clark Dietz about its services.

It is known that Jasper and Huntingburg want to keep their own sewer districts, but want to work harmoniously with a regional district, Austin said. For instance, Jasper would be open to the idea of having new customers from outlying areas, but would want to know what areas that would be. Clark Dietz would be able to handle any coordination work through the study, Austin said, as well as determine if and should smaller sewer companies should be consolidated into a regional district.

Austin mentioned that several septic systems in the community of Haysville are failing, so something would have to be done for that area. “But you have areas that aren’t on sewer that don’t necessarily need to be right now,” she said. “We want to find out how many citizens are interested [in sewers].”

County Attorney Greg Schnarr said he would like some time to review Clark Dietz’s proposal. And, he said, the county should ask for requests for proposals, or RFPs, for similar services from other engineering companies, to be able to compare services and costs. The commissioners agreed; they also planned to email Clark Dietz’s proposal to Dubois County Council members, to make sure they are aware of the matter.

“I feel like this is an important project,” Hostetter said. “If we’re going to get this done, this is the way we will have to do it.”

The commissioners also:

Reminded the public of the county’s resolution requesting that they not blow grass clippings onto roads for safety reasons.

Approved a lease agreement for the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency to use space at the Huntingburg Street Department. Huntingburg officials must also approve the agreement.

Hired Calcar Paving to pave 800 West from State Road 56 to Portersville Road West for $315,842.

Approved the St. Patrick’s Celebration Committee’s request to use Wheatland Drive and Ladino Lane and parts of County Roads 500 West, 150 North and 490 West in Ireland from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 for its Gobbler Gallop 5K. The race route will be the same as the route for Irish Trot, committee member Janet Schitter said.




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