Town could see increase in water rate with new project
The Town of Winamac is taking a proactive approach as the danger of water contamination is looming.
As part of the proactive actions, the town recently reviewed a water and stormwater infrastructure improvement study. The study not only took a close look at the stormwater infrastructure and where improvements can be made but it also located potential areas were new wells can be built.
Before the regular town council meeting on Feb. 13, a public hearing was held allowing for the public to give their input on the study.
Midwestern Engineers representative Mark Sullivan approached the council about the results of the study and the estimated costs of new wells and fixing some stormwater infrastructure issues. The study was funded by the Federal Community Development Block Grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
The construction of the wells, the transmission line to the plant and the nonconstruction costs were estimated to be more than $1.5 million. The nonconstruction costs include acquiring the land and engineering. Grant funding could be obtained for the project. A rate study would be part of the project and Sullivan estimated there could be a rate increase of $5-$7 per month per household.
As for the stormwater system, the town has been working on separating the stormwater from the wastewater since 2000. Recently, the town completed a smoke test and found a handful of locations where the stormwater is still entering the wastewater lines. The study also found there are areas that have ponding or flooding that should be addressed.
If the town addresses the different areas where the stormwater is entering the wastewater lines and the ponding or flooding at once, it could cost about $1.2 million. To fix the stormwater issues the town can apply for grant funding or a loan. The council would need to figure out how to pay for the project that includes storm water utilities or a user rate. The council was given an example of how much other municipalities are charging for the stormwater utility. On the average it is about $5 per month.