Sewer meeting, survey coming


A meeting has been set for the public to hear the ideas about creating a regional sewer district in the county.

With that, residents will have a chance to share their perspective on the needs of such a district through an online survey.

The sewer district committee will hold the public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 3, in the commissioners/council room, on the second floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St., Jasper.

Project organizer Mary Austin, Clark Dietz’s southern Indiana and Kentucky area manager, expects the meeting to be short. Clark Dietz is conducting a study to look at the configuration of a regional district, the costs for installing one and funding options, including loans and grants.

“We’ll give a description as to what the goals are of the regional sewer district,” Austin told the Dubois County Commissioners Monday morning. “(Presenters will) give a summary of some of the demographics and topographic information that we have pulled together. We plan to have kind of a tentative service map laid out that shows some radiuses around the existing treatment facilities, and what we think will likely go into what treatment facilities, where they live and where they would go. And mainly (we want to) get public feedback.”

Commissioner Nick Hostetter, who is spearheading the effort on behalf of the commissioners, said he wanted the meeting to be in the evening instead of during the commissioners’ meeting earlier that day. That way, people who work during the day could attend if they want, he said. “Hopefully we’d have more people here,” he said.

An online survey would open that day in conjunction with the meeting. The location of the survey will be announced at the meeting, Austin said. There will be paper copies of the survey at the meeting as well, she said.

The commissioners have been working on plans to create a regional sewer district in the county to help get services to unserved areas. The regional sewer district will not be a sewer treatment facility. It will likely be a collection system with the treatment being done at already existing sewer treatment plants. Inter-local agreements would be established between the regional district and the existing plants.

At least one public information meeting must be held before any petition for a district can be submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Austin said Monday. She previously estimated submitting the petition for the regional sewer district to the state in April or May. For the last sewer district she worked on, about 10 years ago, three meetings were held. The first one was well attended, with the second two not drawing as many people, Austin said.

The commissioners also:

• Approved an ordinance instituting rules and an application for oversized and overweight vehicles to use county roads. The ordinance will be published.

• Heard a presentation from Clerk Amy Kippenbrock about the idea of changing precinct polling places into vote centers. In that, voters can cast their ballot at any vote center on Election Day, instead of having to go to their own precinct, Kippenbrock explained. By law, a vote center must be available for every 10,000 voters. That would mean that the county would have to have a minimum of four, Kippenbrock said. Kippenbrock proposed to the Dubois County Election Board that the county continue to have 10 places like it does now; but one election board member is interested in having two less sites in the county, she said. A committee of county and municipal officials, political party chairs and poll workers is being assembled to study the idea; Hostetter volunteered to be a member.

• Approved hiring a summer intern to work with County Engineer Brent Wendholt.

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