Andrews Town Council not happy with wastewater plant not finished

The Andrews Town Council lamented that the town’s new wastewater treatment plant had not been completed yet during its meeting on Monday, Nov. 26.

It was the board’s expectation at its meeting on Oct. 22 that the plant would be finished by the end of October and that the project’s general contractor, Thieneman Construction, would be off the site by the end of November.

However, the town’s utility superintendent, Colin Bullock, reported to council that a variety of issues were holding the project back from completion.

One of those issues, stated Bullock, was that a vital piece of equipment at the plant had been without a motor for, he estimated, 45 days. While a new motor was set to be delivered on Dec. 5, Bullock noted that he could have had that same motor ordered and delivered within five to eight days of the need arising for it. The delay, he said, stemmed from a dispute between two parties involved with the project over which of them would be paying for the motor.

Additionally, Bullock commented that he was displeased by the quality of some of the work at the site and refused to sign off on that labor until it had been redone. Bullock specifically decried the quality of the plant’s pavement.

“The people are paying money for this and it should last a long time,” said Bullock of the plant. “And I won’t sign off on it.”

Bullock expressed hope that the plant’s issues would get resolved in the ensuing weeks. Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon proposed setting a deadline for Thieneman to be finished.

On the ongoing matter of constructing a new community building in town, Council President Bill Johnson reported that an engineering firm had informed him that it would be possible to erect a new facility where the previous one was.

Johnson was heartened by this news as he and his fellow council members had believed that the potential for trichloroethylene (TCE) vapors to infiltrate any building constructed at that site, which is behind the Andrews Municipal Building, had disqualified it from consideration as a construction site.

Johnson shared that Paul Vincent, of RQAW, had informed him that his firm was building a public safety facility in the Fishers area at a site where TCE, which has been classified as a carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is present, but had devised a solution to prevent the vapors from entering the building. Johnson described the solution as an “environmental slab” that acts as a protective barrier.

Johnson added that Vincent had informed him that RQAW would be willing to have Andrews’ new community building constructed, then lease the facility to the town for a period of five years. After that, Andrews would then start making payments on the balance of the construction cost.
Johnson’s fellow councilmembers, John Harshbarger and Bonnie Walker, were interested in the proposal and the board will look into it further.