VBL seeks major upgrades to water, wastewater systems
VAN BIBBER LAKE With the assistance of state grants and the sponsorship of the Putnam County commissioners, serious utility updates could be on the horizon in the Van Bibber Lake Conservancy District.
Kristy Jerrell of Jerrell Consulting approached the commissioners during their recent meeting regarding a planning grant for the Clinton Township community.
While the grant, which will include a 10-percent local match, will have no impact on county government, an incorporated county, city or town must be the lead applicant on such federal block grants.
The particular grant the VBL is applying for is a $45,000 planning grant in order for the conservancy district to do preliminary planning and engineering on upgrades to the water and wastewater systems.
A letter to the commissioners from Doug Clodfelter, a certified operator who oversees the VBL utilities, outlined the challenges, which include:
A low income level in the community,
An water system subject to leaks,
Water mains that are too small,
At least half of the community with water mains running under the homes,
No water meters, which results in wasted water,
A rapidly aging and undersized iron filter at the treatment plant,
An old sewer system with clay tiles and infiltration by tree roots,
Sewer lines that are inaccessible because they are under homes or at the back of property.
Jerrell assured the commissioners that the conservancy district can cover the local match on the initial grants.
As for future grants, she believes the low- to moderate-income of the community will help.
Theyre going to be able to get a lot of free grants, Jerrell said. This will be a great way to get dollars into the community.
Jerrell said that when it comes time to do the actual project, VBL could qualify for grants to cover up to 75 percent of the cost.
With no financial impact to the county, the commissioners unanimously signed the letter of intent, which freed Jerrell to begin the application immediately.
She estimated that she hopes to have the application completed in the next two to three months, and that the state should make a decision should be made by January, or perhaps December.