Study to look at city’s stormwater needsMarch 29, 2018
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — City officials are considering if they need to better address stormwater matters in the city.
An engineering firm will likely study the city’s current situation and determine if a stormwater utility is needed.
“There are stormwater issues we want to address, areas of concern,” Mayor Denny Spinner said. “We want to have a firm create a stormwater capital improvement plan that looks at those needs over the next five to 10 years.”
Currently, the city street department incorporates stormwater maintenance into its street work. But officials have noticed more and more stormwater issues that may need to be handled by a separate utility instead of trying to add the additional work to the street department.
Spinner mentioned as an example that a lot of the improvements done on Washington Street last year included needed stormwater improvements. And other projects in the works now are looking at stormwater needs.
“Part of the cost of Market Street and Fourth Street is for making improvements to the stormwater system,” he said.
The study will determine if that work needs to be more extensive.
Spinner stressed that it’s not yet been decided if a water ultility will be established or if the city will be implementing a stormwater fee.
“This give the (city) council the data needed to make an educated decision,” Spinner said.
At the Huntingburg Common Council’s meeting Tuesday night, three proposals were opened from companies interested in providing engineering services for the project. Those are Columbus-based Strand Associates at $45,000, Indianapolis-based MS Consultants at $48,000, and Loogootee-based Commonwealth Engineers at $52,200.
A committee will review the three and grade them on a series of criteria, Spinner told the council. The committee will recommend a firm to the city council at a future meeting.
The thought about stormwater services has been simmering since 2010, when the state started requiring that municipalities with a population of 10,000 people or more provide stormwater services.
Huntingburg, with a population in the 7,000s, is not in that category yet. But that could happen in the future as the population grows, especially since there has been talk at the state level of decreasing that population threshhold.
City officials are also looking at financial factors.
“We want to see what the cost will be to the resident and the cost to the city,” Spinner said.
The committee studying the proposals — Councilman Kerry Blessinger, Josh Morrison with the city plan commission, Street Superintendent Jason Stamm and Spinner — will meet next week to review the proposals.
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