Lapel seeks more water project help

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LAPEL — Lapel might get additional monetary assistance for its $4.7 million water system project.
In December, the town was notified it would receive a $700,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for its water improvement plan (which requires a town match of $66,000). It also has pursued supplemental funding through the Indiana Finance Authority’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) to help pay for the remaining amount.
At the Thursday, June 17 council meeting, a representative from consultant firm Commonwealth Engineers, which has been working on the project plans, said there could be additional funding through the Indiana Finance Authority’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) to help pay for the remaining amount.
At the Thursday, June 17, council meeting, a representative from consultant firm Commonwealth Engineers, which has been working on the project plans, said there could be additional funding available through Indiana’s State Water Infrastructure Fund (SWIF).
Indiana General Assembly has allocated $100 million of federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) to provide grant funding to Indiana utilities’ wastewater, drinking water and stormwater projects that either protect or improve public health or water quality. The SWIF program will allocate $50 million this year and $50 million in 2022.
Funding is received through an application process.
According to Commonwealth, Lapel automatically qualifies because it had previously submitted its SRF application and planning report and has been approved. The consultant firm still recommended submitting an application.
Applications are due July 15, with announcement of grants expected in early August.
“It works like a grant. You have to submit a project need,” Lapel town council President Chad Blake said. “The project we are already doing automatically qualifies for it. Right now, we have a grant for $700,000 of the $4.7 million. This has the potential of getting us up to $5 million of grant money for our existing project based on how it scores out.
“We’re going to submit our existing project to try to get more money. Right now, we are going to finance the remaining $3.9 million, or whatever it comes out to. We’re trying to get additional funds to lower the amount we have to finance.”
The town has spent years applying for funding to help fix water issues. They were denied a number of times by OCRA prior to receiving the grant award announcement at the end of last year.
The $4.7 million project will involve upgrades and other work to an existing water treatment plant, elevated storage tank and installation of new water mains at various locations through town.
Closure approved
The council approved closing School Street, between Main Street and 12th Street, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 10 for a car show in front of Daybreak Community Church. Proceeds from the show will benefit Lapel Community Food Pantry.
The Lapel Car Show will take place during Lapel Village Days at the church, 1219 Main St.
Lapel Village Days, sponsored by the church, runs from July 9-11. Weekend activities include live music, food trucks, a bounce house, petting zoo and vendors.
There will be an outdoor church service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, July 11, that will include a free cookout afterward at noon.