The plans for a new sewer plant for the town of Fillmore are in the works following Saturday's town council meeting.
Jon Handy from JDH Engineering informed the Fillmore Town Council Saturday that it was possible for the town to have its own sewer plant. An in-house plant would lower residential sewer bills to $56-$58 a month.
Handy also said that building the plant might not cost the town anything, if the council contracts him to operate the service.
"If the town's interested, I think I can build it, put it in the ground and operate it," he said.
This would also be along with handling the collection system and the lift station. Handy believed that there would be enough to cover the town's loan payment on the collection system.
Council President Margaret Alexander asked Handy how all of this was going to work. Handy said that was something both the council and himself needed to work out. "From my part, it's going to take a 25 year commitment to do this because I am putting all the money in the ground to be able to treat this and my only customer is the town of Fillmore," Handy said.
Alexander asked how much of the cost would be coming out of the town's pocket to pay for the plant. Handy said he did not think any of the costs would come out of the town's pocket except maybe attorney fees to write up the agreement.
According to Handy, he has already found a plant in Southern Indiana that will work well, but he does not know where it is going to go yet.
The ideal spot for the plant would be somewhere downstream from the master lift station that pumps to Greencastle, and southwest of town where everything drains to already.
Although the town might not have the luxury of choosing that spot for the plant, it's something both Handy and the council will be working on.
Handy explained to the council and those present in the audience that it was going to take six to nine months to one year to put everything together before it is fully operational. Handy also said the town would have to get a permit from the state, which would take 180 days to receive, plus a 30 day waiting period for anybody who does not want the plant.
But residents must have an environmental objection to the plant, rather than just saying they do not want it in their backyard.
Both the council and Handy questioned whether or not there was a termination clause in the town's agreement with Greencas-tle. Town attorney John Zeiner was not present at Saturday's meeting to provide the needed information.
Water Supt. David Gilley voiced his concern about residents turning off their city water because they are paying a flat fee for their sewer.
Several audience members informed the council that they still had their wells, but the wells were not connected to their homes or were not used for residential consumption.
The council questioned regulating homeowners who turned off their city water, but there is nothing on record that states the town of Fillmore has done so in the past.
The council decided to talk with Zeiner about finding a way to regulate the citizens from turning off their city water.
Council member Curt Leonard told Handy that he should start talking with Zeiner about the agreement. "It's obviously going to be better for the town if the sewer rates are down," Leonard said.
The council decided to work with Handy on an agreement and allow him to put a new sewer plant.
In other business, the council;
-- Learned from Gilley that one meter froze.
-- Learned from Sewer Supt. Joe Cash that one pump went down, but it was not one that was not replaced a couple of years ago.
After comparing purchasing replacement parts prices or just purchasing a brand new pump, Cash purchased a new pump.
-- Learned about two culverts that needed cleaning. Gilley said he will have to wait until the spring thaw to clean it.
The Fillmore Town Council meets regularly every second Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. in the town hall. The next scheduled meeting is Saturday, March 10. The meeting is open to the public.