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By VINCE LUECKE
TELL CITY – A $1.2 million state grant will allow residents of a subdivision to connect to Tell City’s sewage main, easing worries they might be cut off from sanitary wastewater services.
Mayor Barbara Ewing announced at Monday’s meeting of the Tell City Board of Public Works and Safety that the Indiana Housing Finance Authority had pledged the money to serve Brushy Hollow Subdivision.
As the News reported several times last spring and summer, residents of the subdivision off of Indiana 37 near St. Marks were told they would be without working sewers if developer Tim Huff could no longer operate his private system. Concerns grew after Huff sent notices to residents advising them he may not be able to continue providing sewer service.
At the time, Ewing said the city was willing to work with county and state officials toward a solution but had no money to extend services outside the city.
Ewing said Monday the grant will allow the city to serve the area without impacting the rates of city residents, something she set as a goal last year when announcing the city would meet with county and state officials on the issue.
Tell City operates the county’s only municipal wastewater treatment facility and already handles waste from Cannelton and Troy.
Huff was present at Monday’s meeting and said he was there for an update. “I’m here to listen,” he said.
No timetable was offered for serving the areas but engineering work is a likely first step. Sewage-department Superintendent Bruce Badger, asked by the works board’s Gary Morton if the area could be served by a gravity system or would require a pump or booster station, said it was too early to speculate.
Homes in the Brushy Hollow subdivision are in a valley at a lower elevation than the city’s main line that extends to Branchville.
The News reported Monday city officials were optimistic that the prison would remain on the line, despite consideration over the past year of creating a separate treatment system.
An engineering and accounting survey will be conducted before the city and state discuss rates.
“They’ve encouraged us to begin engineering but we’re still in the early stages,” she said.