April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Water project nears final completion; tower project moves ahead

By HSJ Online [email protected]

The water system improvement project is nearly complete -- waiting only for a valve to be installed on County Road 600N.

But the town has saved so much money from the originally $2.9 million project that there will be enough to nearly fund a renovation of the town water tower.

The Hope Town Council was told Monday by the project supervisors at Strand Associates that the water system improvement project is almost done. The butterfly valve that is needed to finish the connection to Eastern Bartholomew Water Co. has still not arrived, Strand representatives explained.

The contractors have a year warranty on work including street resurfacing and grass replanting. In August, Strand will take a walk through to re-evaluate those items for any repairs that need to be made.

Town Manager J.T. Doane said that the town has more than $400,000 left over from cost savings on the project. Most of the funding came from the state revolving loan fund, but also a smaller portion came from a matching grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The council agreed to put the leftover money toward a project to refurbish the water tower. Doane said the last time the tower was refurbished and inspected was in 1998, meaning it was due again in 2018. The town will need to have the tower refinished on the inside and painted inside and out, before it can be inspected, Doane said.

The majority of the funding would come from the $331,000 left over from the loan, Doane said.

However about $70,000 of the money from the grant will need to be returned unused, Doane said. Because of the limitations on the grant funding, it has to be spent with a 4:1 matching donation. And the use of the funds are limited and could not be spent for the water tower update.

The project to refurbish the tower will take about two months, town officials estimated. Utilities manager David Clouse said that the loss of the tower will not affect water pressure for residents, but it could cause problems for firefighting.

In other business before the Town Council:

  • The Paula Pollitt Animal Shelter is nearing completion. Town Manager J.T. Doane said that work is nearing completion on revamping the former water pump house on Jackson Street to be used as an animal shelter. He also presented the completed sign that will hang on the outside of the shelter.

  • Randy Paetzel presented a plan for an upcoming fundraiser for the Camon Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star. The event would be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6th in the Hope Town Square as a fundraiser for the lodge's various charitable work such as its Christmas food drive, he said. The event would include a car show, children's activities possibly including a bounce house, food for sale, a band and other activities, Paetzel said.

  • The town is still looking for a replacement town marshal after one officer resigned in November, said Marshal Matt Tallent. There were five applicants for the opening. Two of the applicants are current reserves.

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