However, Monday evening when the TCRSD board held final comments before making a unanimous decision to move forward with the project, several present noted not receiving the latest letter.
During the July meeting clarification regarding the process should the project be approved was reviewed. The letter, signed by Rex Heil, board president of TCRSD, noted once approved, the sewer would be designed by the district’s engineer and submitted to Indiana Department of Environmental Management for review and approval. Within 10 days of that submission, TCRSD is required to notify all potential customers of the project and they will be required to connect to the sewer unless seeking and qualifying for an exemption from connection.
Potential customers will also be advised of the exemption procedure and their rights. This exemption is spelled out by state statute regulated by the county health department.
Heil’s letter explained the state statute states if a septic system is not 10 years old or newer property owners will not qualify for an exemption. If a property qualifies for the exemption, following a health department inspection, the property owner may not be required to connect for up to 10 years, beginning on the date the system was installed.
Onsite costs of connecting initially instead of later were also discussed. The district is attempting to secure discounts on materials that meet specifications on behalf of the property owners. The discount would be based on the fact materials will be purchased in bulk during a specified time period. Property owners who attempt to connect later, may be unable to obtain the discounts.
Initially the project encompassed 347 property owners in the areas of George Street, Trusdale, Waco Drive, Ideal Beach and South Shore Drive.
Called S.W.A.P this area of the sewer would connect into the present system at Wawasee Middle School. A lift station would be installed near South Shore and Vawter Park Road, a new lift station built taking pressure off a lift station in Enchanted Hills, increasing the size of pumps in four lift stations and enlarge the treatment plant to increase capacity to receive additional sewage.
The initial estimated cost was $5 million for the entire project, $1 million for the S.W.A.P. Area.
Due to negative responses from homeowners in the Grandview and South Shore Golf community on the west side of SR 13, the scope of the project was limited to properties along George Street, Waco Drive, Ideal Beach and South Shore Drive stretching through the curve on Vawter Park Road.
The project now includes 270 customers, approximately 217 lakeside. Initial commitments have been received from 140 of those property owners.
James Flecker, attorney with Green Cates & Grossnickle, provided a summary of costs associated with the project.
It is estimated the individual cost to tap onto the sewer line will be between $5,000 and $8,000 and is the responsibility of the homeowner. This includes costs to hire a contractor, purchase and install a grinder pump station, abandon existing systems and extend the 1.5-inch pipe from the pump and connect to the force main the road right of way.
An availability charge, of approximately $2,500, will be imposed by the district for the new users to pay their share of the existing infrastructure. This lump sum charge is due by a date yet to be determined and prior to connecting to the system.
Also due prior to connection, at a date yet to be determined, is a capital assessment fee of approximately $3,300. This is the construction cost allocated solely to S.W.A.P. area customers.
All TCRSD customers will see an increase in rates. The rates will range between $65 to $75 per month. Current rates are $59 per month. New rates cover costs to upgrade the existing lift stations and the plant improvements.
The remaining uncommitted property owners are being asked to return any signed sewer connection agreements as soon as possible. Additionally any potential customer or existing customers can contact Richard A. Green or Flecker at (574) 457-3222 or at their respective email addresses: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.