Ingalls to seek water project help

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The sun sets on Election Day in Ingalls, where the line snaked around Ingalls Town Hall, down the street past a church, then around the corner and up a street. Just before 6 p.m., one voter exiting the building said she waited five hours. Scott Slade | The Times-Post

Town eyes state grant, other assistance for $4.9 million effort

INGALLS — Ingalls Town Council, anticipating increasing local development, recently approved creating an access management plan to help control traffic in an area on State Road 13 near Interstate 69.

On Monday, the focus on imminent growth turned to the water system.

At its Utilities Board meeting, conducted prior to the normal town council assembly, the board — with the recommendation from a representative of the engineering firm Triad Associates Inc. — agreed to pursue supplemental funding for its $4.9 million water project through the Indiana State Water Infrastructure Fund (SWIF).

Council president Scot Lawyer said the town will also look at other avenues for funding, including through the Indiana Finance Authority’s State Revolving Fund.

Lawyer said among the things planned are meter replacements, a new water tower and a water main extension that would loop in the entire water system.

“By looping the project, it’ll increase our capacity to be able to serve both what’s there now and what’s coming in the future,” Lawyer said.

Indiana General Assembly has allocated $100 million of federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Indiana Finance Authority 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 the money in two rounds, one in 2021 and the other in 2022.

“Whether we get SWIF money or not, this has to be done,” Lawyer said. “With the number of homes we’re going to be looking at in that area over the next five to 10 years, this has to happen.

“It’s trying to get ahead. We’re trying to meet the current needs better and also be prepared for the future.”

Indiana Finance Authority is accepting SWIF applications until July 15. An announcement of grants is expected on Aug. 6. The grants will provide up to $5 million based upon the $100 million appropriation by the IGA.

Bid approved

The council approved a bid of $81,302 from Pavement Solutions Inc. to crack seal roads in the original town neighborhoods north and south of Broadway Street and the Prairie Hollow subdivision. Crews will also do a cape seal on a portion of Reformatory Road from town limits on the east side to County Road 650 West.

Most of the project is going to be funded by  Indiana Department of Transportation’s Community Crossings Matching Grant program.

Ingalls town street department supervisor Carl Marlett said Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) would pay $60,976 toward the project. The town will pay the rest.

Marlett told the council he’d like to apply for INDOT’s next round of grants, which are open from July 5-31. He asked council members for suggestions on the next project.

Personnel

• The town approved Marlett’s recommendation to hire Seth Smith as a street department employee.

• The council reappointed Joey Hutslar to the plan commission and Jill Golden to the board of zoning appeals.

• Craig Lee was appointed by the council as a new member of the BZA. Another member is still needed to fill out the board.