Andrews council withholds some payment for unfinished wastewater treatment plant

The Andrews Town Council voted to pay a retainage fee to the construction firm that erected the town’s new wastewater treatment plant at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 25.

The board approved a payment of $142,095 to the firm, Thieneman Construction. Ryan Macos, of Strand Associates, which serves as the project’s engineering firm, recommended the payment in light of the plant’s level of completion. While the payment represents the majority of the $189,095 retainage fee that the town and Thieneman had agreed upon, council opted to withhold $47,000 of that total until every task at the plant has been completed. The remaining tasks, commented Macos, cannot be completed until warmer weather arrives.

Council revisited its plan to pursue a community development block grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) that would fund the installation of stormwater infrastructure on McKeever Street. To that end, the board met with Mike Kleinpeter, of Kleinpeter Consulting Group LLC, at the meeting about potentially serving as the town’s administrator for the grant.

Kleinpeter noted that the grant cycle would be restarting soon, with proposals due on May 3, followed by applications on June 28. In the leadup to proposal-submission deadline, Kleinpeter stated that two public hearings would need to be held and recommended conducting those hearings during the regularly scheduled council meetings on April 8 and May 28.

Kleinpeter stressed the importance of residents attending those hearings.

“If we don’t have residents’ support for the project and OCRA doesn’t see them on the public hearing sign-in sheet and OCRA doesn’t get letters of support from them, as much as you and I want the project to happen, it won’t happen,” said Kleinpeter.

The project would see a stormwater system installed on McKeever Street from Leedy Lane to the bridge over Loon Creek, with the goal being to eliminate flooding that occurs on the street during heavy rain events.

Kleinpeter informed council that he would attend its next meeting on March 11 with a services contract for it to consider approving.

In other business:

Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock reported that components from the town’s disassembled high-service pump had been sent to Peerless Midwest to be refurbished. He expressed hope that the components would be finished in two weeks.

Council passed Ordinance 2019-1 on first read, which concerns the reestablishment of the cumulative fire fund.