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Town of Troy awarded $500,000 stormwater grant

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By TRINA SEVERSON
Feature Writer
TROY – The town of Troy has been awarded a Stormwater Improvements Program grant of $500,000 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The grant will allow for the installation of 2,040 linear feet of storm drainage piping ranging in size from 12 to 42 inches in diameter and approximately 21 drainage structures to alleviate flooding, ponding water, sink holes, and health and safety concerns. The project is part of Troy’s master utility study completed in 2010. Grant funds will be matched with $113,000 of local funds.

The Stormwater Improvements Program is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and funded with federal Community Development Block Grant dollars.

“Hoosiers in many communities have suffered from flooded property and sewer backups due to inadequate stormwater management,” said Bill Davis, director of OCRA. “Flooding is expensive to clean up, depresses property values, and degrades water quality. These grants will help alleviate these problems and associated costs.”

Town Council President Gary Palmer said the stormwater project has been a top priority of the town for the past three years. “This project is necessary for the elimination of severe drainage problems caused by an inadequate and damaged storm water system,” said Palmer upon learning of the grant award. “Property owners along the corridor will see immediate improvement. Gone will be the sink holes, flooding and health issues associated with our badly damaged storm water system.”

During the council’s regular meeting, rescheduled from July 16 to the 23 due to absence of a quorum, town attorney John Hargis and resident Bill Ransom were also present. In an earlier meeting, Ransom had approached the council in regards to his interest in dividing acreage he owned into six lots to sell. Ransom inquired as to whether the town could purchase and install a sewer lift station to service the area. Utilities Superintendent Bernard “Putter” Linne said a cost estimate from an engineer for a lift station to accommodate Ransom’s lots and meet state standards was $96,475. The proposed lots would each be less than an acre and therefore too small to install septic systems.

“That (cost) is something that our sewer department, at this point in time, couldn’t absorb,” Palmer said. Hargis and the council discussed the usual option of having the developer pay the cost and later be reimbursed by the new homeowners who pay tap-in fees. “The problem here, “Hargis said, “is for six lots and $750 tap-in fees, you’re not going to generate enough money to even come close to paying for a lift station. It’s not very economical for Troy, because they would invest $96,000 and get back less than $10,000.”

“It’s just not economically feasible for the town to do at this point,” Palmer said.

Hargis also advised the council regarding steps for the proposed rezoning of an area within the city limits purchased by KK Logistics. The company plans to construct a 300,000-square-foot warehouse, which the News reported June 23, and also clarified what steps needed to be taken by the company and the town prior to construction. The majority of steps, he said, such as publishing legal notices and providing notices to neighboring property owners, is the responsibility of the incoming company.

“Supposedly, Waupaca will occupy about half of it, and other tenants the other half,” Palmer told Hargis.

In other news, Linne told the council that sinkholes along Crossman Street and the 400 block of Washington would be repaired.

“We ordered some extra pipe to run the entire block to meet up with what will be the new sewer system. But the way that sinkhole’s in the middle of the street and comes out over in the (resident’s) yard, to fix it correctly, we need to run it along the entire block. Otherwise, we’re going to have the same old problem. So, we removed a large tree that was there and hopefully by the end of this week or the beginning of next week, we’ll get that (new) pipe in the ground.”

“Yes, this needs to be fixed,” said Palmer. “You look down and all you see is a big dark hole in the asphalt.”

The council will also receive bids for an electrical system upgrade that will include pole replacement and reconductoring. Materials will be provided by Troy Electric Utility and staking sheets for interested parties are available at the utility department. Bids will be accepted through noon Sunday, Aug. 24.