Water improvements nearing completion

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Improvements to the water main along U.S. 231 are substantially completed.

Construction started in January 2020 and was expected to be done at the end of 2020. But there was some unforeseen work that had to be handled, John Wetzel of Midwestern Engineers told the Huntingburg Common Council Tuesday evening.

“On a job that size and difficulty, everything went pretty well,” he said. “It went a little bit slower than we had hoped. But it took a little bit longer to finish things up.”

Huntingburg Machine Works has substantially completed the work on the water main along 11 blocks of U.S. 231 between Maple and Chestnut streets, Second and First avenues, First to Third streets and Fifth to 12th streets. It included replacing service lines and installing a control valve pit near Chestnut so that the water in the tank near the high school can be turned over and flow back into the water system automatically.
“Going through the project, it was pretty difficult construction all along 231,” Wetzel said. “We had some things come up during construction.”

For instance, a main near Second Street was replaced, he said.

With the extra work that had to be done, the final cost for the main improvements is at $1.48 million. The overall work is now complete; cleanup work still needs to be done, he said.

Improvements to the water plant are almost complete. Reynolds Construction of Orleans is doing the work, which includes redoing the chemical feed systems and adding a new intake pump station, new piping, a salt storage space, new walkways inside the building and two backwash tanks.
 The work to produce additional water is complete and the system is in use. That has increased the plant’s production capacity from 800 to 1600 gallons per minute, Wetzel said.

“It has been a marathon down there when you’re dealing with a complex construction project,” he said. “We’ve had some issues, but they’ve done a good job of working through everything.”

The driveway from the main building to the sludge beds needs to be done, and workers are doing that, Wetzel said. Final cleanup is ongoing, he said. So far, the cost for the plant work is at $4.89 million.

Solential Energy of Carmel has installed the solar field on the east side of the water plant property and it is now in service, Wetzel said. The work cost $468,000. It has a one-year warranty, he said.

The council also:

• Decided to research options for storing water department equipment. Water Superintendent Gary Meyerholtz explained that equipment is being stored in different areas around the city, and suggested that the city look at possibly purchasing a building to store all the equipment together and have space for offices. The council wanted to see what space the city already has before considering pursuing a building purchase.

• Congratulated Meyerholtz for earning the 2020 Operator of the Year-Small Water System from the American Water Works Association’s Indiana section.

• Approved a resolution to support issuing $34 million in economic development bonds for Farbest Foods' improvements project the company is undergoing. The city will not be responsible for paying those bonds, and all costs for issuing the bonds are Farbest’s responsibility, City Attorney Phil Schneider explained.

• Established a fund in which $1,290,000 the city is getting through the America Rescue Plan Act will be deposited.

• Appropriated $13,400 that will be given to the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation in quarterly payments. The money is the difference in the cost of properties the city and school district switched. The district gave the city the Maple Park property at Jackson Street in exchange for property at the southwest corner of U.S. 231 and Sunset Drive, near the Southridge complex.

• Adopted the city’s unified development ordinance.

• Hired Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group to create designs for community gateway signs, which are community signage at the entrances to the city, and way-finding signs that direct visitors to particular locations for $8,020.




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