FILLMORE -- Tired of the same old story of too many projects, not enough money, the Town of Fillmore may be taking the first steps toward some help in solving some public works problems.
Representatives of Robert E. Curry and Associates of Danville presented their thoughts on the town's wastewater and stormwater needs at Thursday night's monthly town council meeting.
Engineers Robert Curry and Lori Young discussed some grant options available to Fillmore to fund the majority of such a project.
Curry said he could see a number of places the town could improve the efficiency of its sanitary sewers, such as in the high number of manholes (82) and lift stations (8) he saw for a town of Fillmore's size.
The main issue is seeing what is causing widespread sewer infiltration.
"The biggest problem with the collection system is that you've got a tremendous amount of infiltration in the wet months," Curry said.
Confirming Curry's suspicions, utility manager Joe Cash said the town pumps in approximately 30,000 gallons of water daily from Greencastle while sending back about 60,000 gallons.
While the use of well water by some town wastewater customers explains part of this problem, it is not the whole problem.
The engineers told the council the sewers, installed in 1997, should not be in such bad shape 15 years later.
"If they were put in properly, you really shouldn't be having the problems you're having right now," Curry said.
Besides finding solutions for the sanitary sewer problem, town officials also desire storms sewers along Main Street.
This need, in turn, has delayed any repairs to the rough pavement, as fixing a street only to tear it up to install sewers would be wasteful.
Curry's associate Young presented a possible solution to all three problems in applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
Young has spoken to grant administrator Kristy Jerrell, who believes Fillmore would be eligible for the grant program.
In recent years Jerrell has worked with Clinton Township, South 43 Water Association, Cloverdale and Bainbridge, among others, on successful CDBG projects.
Proposals for CDBG grants are due in February. Curry's company pledged to do any preliminary engineering work for the application at no charge to the town.
Of importance to getting the process started, Curry and Young said, is the town setting some priorities for all aspects of the desired project.
"At this point, we don't know enough about it to suggest a solution," Curry said.
The council took no action on the matter, but expressed interest in continuing to look at the options.
Addressing another public works need, council president Alan Jones announced the town's road salt and sand are no longer exposed to the elements.
"The salt shed is done," Jones said.
"And it looks wonderful," fellow councilor Tami Van Rensselaer interjected. "Thank you, Alan."
For his part, Jones thanked a number of other citizens who assisted with the project.
Cash donated dirt to fix the grade of the ground surrounding the building.
Others Jones thanked for their help included Meredith Trusty, Mike Goodpaster, Wes Terhune, Gary Jones and Bob Bills.
Jones also said he and some other citizens recently installed bollards and fences for the People Pathways project in town.
Fellow councilman Curt Leonard laughed as he praised his retired colleague's busy life of volunteerism.
"I can't wait until I'm retired so I can work myself half to death," Leonard said.