City leaders seek grant again

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Cannelton residents can submit letters, pictures, other proof of sewer problems

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

CANNELTON - People who scored Cannelton’s previous application for funding to fix its sanitary- and storm-sewer problems didn’t understand the benefits the city would derive, an Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission representative said Monday.

Speaking at a public hearing required as part of the process to secure a Community Focus Fund grant, Project Assistant Nathan Held said 57 projects were competing in the last round of applications, and only 22 were funded.

Administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the funds originate in the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.

Cannelton city officials have been working to secure money to alleviate drainage issues, including the flow of rain into sanitary sewers. That costs the city for rainwater sent unnecessarily to a treatment plant in Tell City and in heavier storms, sewage can be flushed out into public waterways.

The city’s previous application included two parts, for the sanitary- and storm-sewer systems. That confused the scoring officials, Held said.

Community liaisons who understood what the city wants to do weren’t involved, and "those who were didn’t understand the community benefit," he explained. He added, however, "I was assured this would be a competitive project if that was clarified."

He would submit a proposal by a Friday deadline, he said, and an application is due in October. Cannelton will request $254,000 and will have to provide a 10-percent match.

Letters, pictures and other documentation such as insurance claims from city residents documenting problems with the sewer systems can bolster the application to be submitted in October, Held said. Another public hearing will be conducted ahead of that deadline, possibly in September, he added.