Lapel moves forward with wastewater expansion, plans to hire town manager

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By Brady Extin

LAPEL — The Town of Lapel has taken its next step toward expanding its wastewater facilities.
At the June 20 meeting, the town council approved two resolutions toward taking the next step to secure a loan from the state’s revolving fund.
The first resolution allows President Chad Blake to authorize and sign for the loan application, while the second resolution accepted the expansion project.
At the May meeting, MS Consultants prepared the preliminary engineering report for the town and stated that the current wastewater treatment facility is running at 75% of its design capacity. With growth continuing to come to the area, improvements were deemed necessary.
The proposed project consists of the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, construction of a regional lift station and force main, and rehabilitation of the old sewer system by cured-in-place pipe.
According to the report, the wastewater treatment plant expansion will be able to accommodate the anticipated build-out of the town for the next 20 years. The collection system and lift station improvements will be able to accommodate future growth as it progresses north from the State Road 13 and Interstate 69 interchange.
The maximum amount of the loan will be for $43 million, and the application is being reviewed by the state.
In other business, the town council approved job descriptions for a town manager and administrative assistant.
The town manager will serve as a strategic adviser to the council and will provide general management of the day-to-day operations of the town.
The position will also oversee the utility department, community and economic development, and planning department, and will act as the parks department director.
The job description states that “the Town Manager works with residents to establish a strategic vision and execute economic and cultural plans and goals. The Town Manager is in charge of marketing the town to business developers,” managing growth coordinating development, and ensuring the efficient management and operation of the town “by carrying out policy and directives of the Town Council.”
Blake said the salary for the position will be about $90,000.
Lapel will join Pendleton and Ingalls as local governments with a town manager.
The administrative assistant will help town residents, assist the town manager and clerk-treasurer, and will prepare a town newsletter.
“The town actually has no employees at town hall. There’s nobody there to represent the town and town council on a day-to-day basis,” Blake said. “The administrative assistant will be that person or that face that is in charge of getting information to the people it needs to go to.”
The positions are expected to be filled by the end of the year.