It’s been a long road to this point, but the Shipshewana West sewer project is complete and ready to serve the Shipshewana Lake area.
The LaGrange County Regional Utility District board signed off on a letter stating that the project has been finished, following an update from project engineer Steve Henschen. Henschen told the board that the last few items on the punch list had been completed.
The project will remain under warranty from the contractor for one year. Henschen said that they will return in the spring to see what areas may need work, especially in areas where replacement grass has not taken root. They will also return for an inspection one month prior to the warranty expiring in December, 2013.
This means that the system is now operational and that customers can begin to connect. The board authorized letters to be sent to all customers in the area letting them know what to do to begin connecting.
A separate letter was being sent to the property owners in the area who had not signed easement agreements and therefore had their property bypassed by the project and will have some additional things to do to make a connection to the system.
Property owners will have 180 days from the date of the letter to hook into the system.
Mark and Mary Lou Smith who live on CR 850W, were at Wednesday’s board meeting to ask about having a grinder pump and equipment installed. The Smith’s had initially signed an easement with the district, but then requested it to be revoked and were therefore bypassed by the project.
It was noted that the district had attempted an amnesty program earlier this fall, but was denied by Rural Development, which is funding the project.
The board asked legal counsel John Gastineau to investigate whether or not the district could assume the cost of operating and maintenance on the connections made by those owners who were bypassed. The property owners would still be liable for the full cost of the installation, but would be saved the long-term costs of operating, as well as maintenance and possible future replacement.
Youth camp sewer
The LaGrange County Regional Utility District was updated on the YMCA Camp Potawatomi that sits in Region B.
District legal counsel John Gastineau told the board Wednesday evening that they had received a response from the camp that they intend to be billed on a flat rate.
Gastineau told the board that the issue of connecting two buildings was still up in the air, as the YMCA is looking at partitioning the property so that the two buildings would lie outside of the 300 ft. line that would require them to connect.
The board asked Gastineau to let the YMCA know that they had 30 days to complete their surveying on the parcel and to give the district their proposal.