East Webster Lake Residents Looking To Join Sewer District (2024)

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March 1, 2023 at 12:25 a.m.

East Webster Lake Residents Looking To Join Sewer District (1)

East Webster Lake Residents Looking To Join Sewer District

Nearly 200 homes in the Webster Lake area could join the Tippecanoe Chapman Regional Sewer District (TCRSD) down the road.

On Tuesday, Ken Jones, president and CEO of the consulting firm Jones Petrie Rafinski Corp., told the Kosciusko County Commissioners that East Webster Lake is a neighborhood on the east shore of the lake and the only portion of Webster Lake that hasn’t been served by municipal sewer so far.

“We’ve been talking about this for a couple years. Recently, we conducted a meeting with the homeowners and a couple commissioners and it was decided at that point in time that we officially were going to go back to the Tippecanoe Chapman Regional Sewer District Board and ask them to consider including this area of 182 homes into their district,” Jones said.

He went before the commissioners Tuesday for them to look at a resolution for including that territory into the TCRSD, which would start the initiating process of the district considering the project.

“This should save certainly time, should certainly save money. I think before the property owners had approached you to form a whole new district, which is pretty cumbersome and more costly, obviously. So this is probably a good move, I think,” Jones said.

He said they visited with some of the TCRSD board members in early February, but the meeting didn’t have all the members presents. Those members who were present delayed a decision on it and suggested having it go to the county commissioners for the commissioners to offer the approved application for inclusion and then the board would consider action on that at their March 13 meeting.

“That’s what I’m here to ask you to do, and it seems, so far, the engineering committee members that we met with and other members of the board, there seems to be some support for it. Until the board actually convenes on the topic and votes, but they really can’t officially vote unless you ask them to, so that’s what this is about,” Jones said.

He asked the commissioners to approve the resolution.

The second part of his request was on associated costs.

“So far, the board at Tippecanoe Chapman, is a little hesitant to take money from their currently funded project and fund the initiating costs for the East Webster Lake project. We did receive quotes from the fiscal adviser, legal counsel and the environmental consultant. JPR will have some costs involved in that, but we’re going to hold our invoices until the project is funded because we’ve already done a significant amount of work on this project with the property owners. And we’re doing that at no cost at this point in time,” Jones stated.

The total cost for the fiscal adviser, legal counsel and environmental consultant is $40,000. Jones said the commissioners can send him back to the TCRSD Board with any decision they make on that cost and it will be discussed with them on March 13. He did ask the commissioners “for sure” to consider the resolution and send it to the TCRSD Board for them to act on or not.

“I’ve got a feeling they will give you a positive response,” Jones said, also adding that they understood the county council would also need to grant their approval.

Commissioner Cary Groninger asked if any cost analysis has been done on what the sewer rate will be for the East Webster Lake homeowners. “Everybody’s happy about getting sewer until they find out what it’s going to cost them,” he said.

Jones said the target rate would be similar to what the folks at Tippecanoe Chapman would be paying at project completion.

“Our engineering analysis was recently updated. Originally, we were just over $4 million for these 182 homes. That has gone up, as every project has gone up over the last two years, probably to just over $5 million. However, the $5 million mark is - we would expect this project to score well with the funding agency at the State Revolving Loan, through the IFA (Indiana Finance Authority), and this is kind of a project that hits all the sweet spots for the SRF (State Revolving Fund), so we’re expecting that there will be a significant amount of subsidization to this project. Usually, that grant for a project this size would be substantial, so we’re thinking that target rate of $80 to $90 would probably make it here,” Jones explained.

He said they’re a long ways from being able to guarantee that because there’s still work to be done.

“My guess is, as it currently stands right now, the application would end up in FY (Fiscal Year) ‘25 for the state, so we won’t really know what kind of subsidization will appear until that time,” Jones said.

What he thinks is driving the support for the project among East Webster Lake residents is that it’s one of the most densely developed areas of the lake, so the homeowners have very few options.

Groninger asked, “So, this is the one that’s going to use the force main from Nap Lake to North Webster and North Webster would actually treat the waste there?” Jones said that was right.

Groninger then asked if the $40,000 for those fees could be paid back to the county if the county loaned that money. Jones said yes and they could be conditioned in any way the county wanted.

Groninger also asked if the commissioners could delay a vote until after the TCRSD Board meetings. Jones said at this point in time, that would not be a problem. “The reason for that is, that to make an application for FY ‘24 to the SRF, we would have to complete a preliminary engineering report with all of the included information and filed by April 1. So that would be, at this point, pretty impossible,” Jones said.

Groninger said the big pushback that he had all along was that he didn’t want to establish another sewer district, with the TCRSD undergoing a $50 million project currently. He voiced his support for East Webster Lake residents joining the TCRSD, as did commissioner Brad Jackson.

“At this point in time, the folks at East Webster Lake are very appreciative that the folks at Tippy Chapman are considering (this) and I think they would be extremely happy to see it go forward,” Jones said, saying the East Webster Lake residents are an aggressive group who have been preparing their neighbors for this.

Jackson said the group is willing to work and roll up their sleeves to get things done from what he could tell in his dealings with them over the last year. He said he would like to send them off with their request at least and then deal with the loan later.

“I just want to make sure the board knows that, at least speaking for myself, that I fully support this,” Jackson stated.

Groninger said he fully supports it, too, and this is a good option of not establishing a whole other sewer district.

Nearly 200 homes in the Webster Lake area could join the Tippecanoe Chapman Regional Sewer District (TCRSD) down the road.

On Tuesday, Ken Jones, president and CEO of the consulting firm Jones Petrie Rafinski Corp., told the Kosciusko County Commissioners that East Webster Lake is a neighborhood on the east shore of the lake and the only portion of Webster Lake that hasn’t been served by municipal sewer so far.

“We’ve been talking about this for a couple years. Recently, we conducted a meeting with the homeowners and a couple commissioners and it was decided at that point in time that we officially were going to go back to the Tippecanoe Chapman Regional Sewer District Board and ask them to consider including this area of 182 homes into their district,” Jones said.

He went before the commissioners Tuesday for them to look at a resolution for including that territory into the TCRSD, which would start the initiating process of the district considering the project.

“This should save certainly time, should certainly save money. I think before the property owners had approached you to form a whole new district, which is pretty cumbersome and more costly, obviously. So this is probably a good move, I think,” Jones said.

He said they visited with some of the TCRSD board members in early February, but the meeting didn’t have all the members presents. Those members who were present delayed a decision on it and suggested having it go to the county commissioners for the commissioners to offer the approved application for inclusion and then the board would consider action on that at their March 13 meeting.

“That’s what I’m here to ask you to do, and it seems, so far, the engineering committee members that we met with and other members of the board, there seems to be some support for it. Until the board actually convenes on the topic and votes, but they really can’t officially vote unless you ask them to, so that’s what this is about,” Jones said.

He asked the commissioners to approve the resolution.

The second part of his request was on associated costs.

“So far, the board at Tippecanoe Chapman, is a little hesitant to take money from their currently funded project and fund the initiating costs for the East Webster Lake project. We did receive quotes from the fiscal adviser, legal counsel and the environmental consultant. JPR will have some costs involved in that, but we’re going to hold our invoices until the project is funded because we’ve already done a significant amount of work on this project with the property owners. And we’re doing that at no cost at this point in time,” Jones stated.

The total cost for the fiscal adviser, legal counsel and environmental consultant is $40,000. Jones said the commissioners can send him back to the TCRSD Board with any decision they make on that cost and it will be discussed with them on March 13. He did ask the commissioners “for sure” to consider the resolution and send it to the TCRSD Board for them to act on or not.

“I’ve got a feeling they will give you a positive response,” Jones said, also adding that they understood the county council would also need to grant their approval.

Commissioner Cary Groninger asked if any cost analysis has been done on what the sewer rate will be for the East Webster Lake homeowners. “Everybody’s happy about getting sewer until they find out what it’s going to cost them,” he said.

Jones said the target rate would be similar to what the folks at Tippecanoe Chapman would be paying at project completion.

“Our engineering analysis was recently updated. Originally, we were just over $4 million for these 182 homes. That has gone up, as every project has gone up over the last two years, probably to just over $5 million. However, the $5 million mark is - we would expect this project to score well with the funding agency at the State Revolving Loan, through the IFA (Indiana Finance Authority), and this is kind of a project that hits all the sweet spots for the SRF (State Revolving Fund), so we’re expecting that there will be a significant amount of subsidization to this project. Usually, that grant for a project this size would be substantial, so we’re thinking that target rate of $80 to $90 would probably make it here,” Jones explained.

He said they’re a long ways from being able to guarantee that because there’s still work to be done.

“My guess is, as it currently stands right now, the application would end up in FY (Fiscal Year) ‘25 for the state, so we won’t really know what kind of subsidization will appear until that time,” Jones said.

What he thinks is driving the support for the project among East Webster Lake residents is that it’s one of the most densely developed areas of the lake, so the homeowners have very few options.

Groninger asked, “So, this is the one that’s going to use the force main from Nap Lake to North Webster and North Webster would actually treat the waste there?” Jones said that was right.

Groninger then asked if the $40,000 for those fees could be paid back to the county if the county loaned that money. Jones said yes and they could be conditioned in any way the county wanted.

Groninger also asked if the commissioners could delay a vote until after the TCRSD Board meetings. Jones said at this point in time, that would not be a problem. “The reason for that is, that to make an application for FY ‘24 to the SRF, we would have to complete a preliminary engineering report with all of the included information and filed by April 1. So that would be, at this point, pretty impossible,” Jones said.

Groninger said the big pushback that he had all along was that he didn’t want to establish another sewer district, with the TCRSD undergoing a $50 million project currently. He voiced his support for East Webster Lake residents joining the TCRSD, as did commissioner Brad Jackson.

“At this point in time, the folks at East Webster Lake are very appreciative that the folks at Tippy Chapman are considering (this) and I think they would be extremely happy to see it go forward,” Jones said, saying the East Webster Lake residents are an aggressive group who have been preparing their neighbors for this.

Jackson said the group is willing to work and roll up their sleeves to get things done from what he could tell in his dealings with them over the last year. He said he would like to send them off with their request at least and then deal with the loan later.

“I just want to make sure the board knows that, at least speaking for myself, that I fully support this,” Jackson stated.

Groninger said he fully supports it, too, and this is a good option of not establishing a whole other sewer district.

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East Webster Lake Residents Looking To Join Sewer District (2)

East Webster Lake Residents Looking To Join Sewer District (2024)
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