Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District’s monthly Monday night, Aug. 17, meeting was all about compromise and change.
TCRSD recently opened bids for a three-part sewer expansion project around Lake Wawasee, closing bids on the three contracts Thursday, Aug. 13. Engineer Brian Houghton noted bids came in significantly higher than expected, and the majority of it comes from contract three, the wastewater treatment plant. The total project was bid at $4.4 million, approximately 11 percent more than the estimated budget.
Focusing on the wastewater treatment plant, Houghton added there would be an on-site meeting this Thursday, Aug. 20, to discuss ways to bring down the cost. At this point, Mason Engineering and Construction of Fort Wayne has offered the lowest bid. According to Houghton, he and the construction company were confident they could find ways to bring down the cost.
Attorney for the district, Dick Green, brought resolution 2015-02 to the board in regards to an easement with Vineyard Community Church. TCRSD Superintendent Timothy Woodward noted although the church is not technically in the district, it will be a beneficial hookup for both parties. Green explained the resolution to the board, noting part of the conditions to the agreement are all installation and on-site expenses be covered by the district. Woodward agreed this was a good option for the district because of the ease of installation for that specific site. The church will be billed for at least three EDUs (one EDU is typically representative of one user) which is three times the amount of a standard home. The church has a congregation size of about 400 people, according to Green. The board made a motion to approve the resolution, which was seconded and passed with two board signatures.
The board also discussed recent displeasure with their billing and accounting company, which is responsible for various forms and budgeting and asset system. Pam Johns, office manager, expressed displeasure with phone call response times and a slow system that often crashes. Any software used must be approved by the State Board of Accounts, so the board agreed it was time to begin looking into other companies.
Although the district seems to be in a transitional phase, it was noted the sewer bill is still expected to fall within the range of $65 to $85 per month. The additional customers gained by the S.W.A.P. sewer project are partially responsible for keeping those bill increases so small. Woodward believes construction will begin in October after bids are accepted and plans are finalized.
In other news:
Woodward noted the district would need to replace the roof on the main building soon, and has begun collecting estimates for a new metal roof. Woodward has had one estimate between $13,000-$15,000, and expects to receive at least two more in that range.
A public question about the disposal of the current mound systems was left unanswered. Woodward noted many current systems have mound sewers which will need to be removed or disposed of, but he has not yet heard an answer on the best practice.
Woodward noted the water plant is almost through with some new paint, done to OSHA code.