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County to apply for grant on behalf of water utility


October 02, 2019
After agreeing earlier this year to do so, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, during its regular meeting at the judicial complex in English on Thursday night, voted to sign grant application documents on behalf of Patoka Water Co.

The three-member board unanimously voted to move forward with the application of $600,000 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs Community Development Block Grant program following a public hearing during which there was no objection.

The county is acting only as a pass-through for the grant since PWC, as a not-for-profit water utility, cannot apply itself. The project is expected to utilize $279,000 in local funds; however, no county dollars will be used for the project, as PWC will be responsible for those costs.

PWC is working with Midwestern Engineers Inc. on designing a replacement for PWC's current elevated standpipe along S.R. 64 about 3-1/2 miles west of English that is about 50 years old approaching the end of its lifespan. Its replacement will have a capacity of 100,000 gallons and will stand approximately 110 feet off the ground. It will be either a multi-leg, elevated steel tank or a pedisphere, which is a ball supported on a single tank.

At a meeting in March, John Wetzel of Midwestern Engineers said PWC has more than 400 active customers and serves Crawford County along the S.R. 64 corridor primarily from just east of English to the Eckerty Y area.

He noted that the board of commissioners applied for a grant on behalf of PWC eight or nine years ago, when PWC received disaster relief money from OCRA for upgrades, including replacing meters throughout the system.

Last week's public hearing, which was attended by representatives of both PWC and Midwestern Engineers, was the first of two required by OCRA. In addition to a hearing prior to the submission of the proposal application, which is to be submitted this week, another must be conducted before the final application is submitted in late November.

The motion to sign the grant application documents, which was made by District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius and seconded by District 2 Commissioner Larry Ingle, was contingent upon review by the board's attorney, who was not present.

The majority of the rest of the meeting focused on road issues, including action on a closed bridge on Hardinsburg Road.

"It's creating a lot of issues for the school corporation, detours," Morton Dale, president of the board of commissioners, said.

Following a motion by Crecelius that was seconded by Ingle, the commissioners voted 3-0 to move forward with the emergency replacement of the bridge.

"We also have another road closure with a bridge out, which is Whiskey Run Ranch Road bridge," Dale said prior to opening bids on an installation contract.

The bridge has been closed since June 11 following an inspection.

Four bids were received from the following: Breeding's Excavating & Concrete of Milltown, $165,000; Fulkerson Contracting Inc. of Lanesville, $187,479; C&R Construction of Corydon, $169,386; and E&B Paving Inc. of Clarksville, $257,975.

The bids were taken under advisement, as the installation contract is expected to be awarded at the commissioners' Oct. 8 meeting.

The commissioners also were presented with several road concerns from residents. No action was taken.

In another matter, the commissioners approved the request of Emergency Management Agency Director Aaron Bye to transfer $12,000 from the Orange County Riverboat Fund to a fund set up for a grant the EMA has received for laptop computers. The grant will fully reimburse the cost to the county.

Expenditures from the Orange County Riverboat Fund require the approval of both the commissioners and the Crawford County Council. The council authorized the transfer at its Sept. 24 meeting.

The commissioners' Oct. 8 meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. at the judicial complex.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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