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Milltown applies for SRF loan for new plant

Town preparing to submit project proposal for OCRA grant

September 04, 2019
The Milltown Town Council took the next step toward replacing the town's wastewater treatment facility as the council voted at its Aug. 18 meeting to allow its president to sign an application for a State Revolving Fund loan.

The town hopes to secure a $700,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help fund the project, previously estimated to cost about $1.6 million. However, the grant requires a 20-percent local match.

"For the SRF portion, that's the piece that you're going to use to fulfill the town's funding obligations," said project engineer Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering.

He said the goal was to submit the SRF loan application later that week with the hope that the town could receive possible approval by Oct. 4.

"We have to have an approval by them by Nov. 22," he said.

Depending on funding, both from the SRF and OCRA, the project could be ready for bid advertisement at the town council's May 2020 meeting, with the bids opened the following month, Woosley said.

"Assuming we open bids in June 2020, we'll wrap the project up about a year later," he said.

Asked by town manager Justin Barnes (who resigned on Aug. 28) what would happen if the town downsized the project, presumably because of troubles securing funding assistance from Harrison County, Woosley said the town simply would borrow less money from the SRF, although it would need to explain any changes to OCRA.

"If we're awarded the OCRA grant, they're going to expect us to do what's in our grant application. We will have to go back before them and explain why we're changing some things," he said.

Following a motion by Jean Melton that was seconded by Jerry Mackey, the council's vice president, the council voted 3-0 to allow Monty Garrett to sign the SRF loan application on the town's behalf.

Regarding the OCRA grant application, Nathan Held of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, the project grant administrator, said round two of funding for 2019 is approaching. The town did submit the project proposal for round one, but it didn't advance as the town was still in the process of trying to secure funding assistance from Harrison and Crawford counties.

Held encouraged town residents to submit letters of support to bolster the project.

"Really, what we've been in the last year or so, the technical part is important and it's required, but they really want to hear from the residents," he said.

Held added that a survey also would be helpful.

"We probably need to do a survey of some kind," he said.

In addition, at Held's suggestion, the council scheduled a pair of public hearings that it must conduct, one prior to the project proposal due date of Oct. 4 and the other before the grant application is due on Nov. 22.

The public hearings will be prior to the council's regular monthly meetings on Sept. 9 and Oct. 14. Both will be at 6:30 p.m.

In another matter, the council unanimously approved a pair of ordinances for which it previously held the required two public readings. One ordinance is for the regulation of public nuisances and prohibiting the formation of litter, garbage, refuse and rubbish, while the other amends the existing ordinance dealing with curfews for minors. Both ordinances are to take effect 30 days after publication in the public notices section of this newspaper.

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