By BRADEN LAMMERS
SELLERSBURG — A long-awaited fresh coat of paint will soon be covering the water towers in Sellersburg.
The Sellersburg Town Council approved a contract for the low bidder for the project, Caldwell Tanks, at a cost of $578,500.
The cost to paint the downtown water tower is $319,600 and the cost to paint a water tower off of Ind. 60 is $258,900. Both tanks will be painted white with black block lettering that spells out the town’s name.
Repainting the water towers has long been a project on the agenda for the town and the plans moved forward when the town council agreed to seek a $5 million bond for improvements to its water system. Sellersburg Municipal Works Director Ken Alexander said the money to pay for the project will come from the bond anticipation note on the bond.
In addition to refurbishing the water towers, the bond sought is expected to pay for the drilling of two new supply wells, construction of a new booster station and a new 500,000-gallon water storage tank.
No final vote has yet to be taken on the water rate ordinance that will help to repay the bond, but it has been introduced on a first reading. Ordinance 2013-001 would raise monthly rates for town residents, based on 5,000 gallons of water usage, from $13.25 to $27.
Alexander said a target date of May 1 has been set for beginning work on the water towers.
“Talking to Caldwell, they would like to start sooner rather than later,” he said.
However, before crews begin painting the towers, AT&T will need to remove equipment from the tops of the water tanks. A meeting with AT&T has been scheduled for this week.
Sellersburg Town Attorney Jake Elder provided the council with another update to the annexation requirements the town must meet and added that additional properties may be interested in joining the town.
“When we did do the annexation, there were a couple of properties in the back of Covered Bridge and/or the Willows that were not encompassed, and the Autumn Ridge subdivision was cut in half,” Elder said.
He added that some of those property owners may be interested in a voluntary annexation into Sellersburg. It is expected that those interested in joining the town will come before the council in the next month or so to make the request, Elder said.
A timeline also was outlined for the town to provide non-capital services to Covered Bridge and the other annexed areas.
“We had to file the annexation ordinance with five different agencies,” Elder said. “To try and find a definitive date is going to be a little bit difficult, so to preserve that I would say July 31 would be the best date to operate off of.”
By choosing the July 31 date, Sellersburg would be within the one-year time frame in which the town needs to provide non-capital services to the annexed area. Non-capital services include fire and police protection, as well as sanitation service and building and zoning regulations. Elder also said that the council representative for the annexed area would be Councilman Brian Meyer, who was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
“According to the ordinance ... the town council district after the annexation would be that of Sellersburg District 5,” Elder explained. “Our district 5 is our at-large district.”
He added that the council could address or change the districts and the assigned representatives when it completes its redistricting plan.
TAX ABATEMENT APPROVAL
The renewal of three tax abatements nearing the end of their 10-year terms were approved at Monday night’s meeting.
An abatement for IRJ, LLC, located along Progress Way, was approved, which is scheduled to end in 2016. Another property, Tyler Rose Properties on Progress Way also saw its abatement renewed. The 10-year abatement is scheduled to end next year.
The final abatement approved Monday was for Dan and Joan Evinger for the veterinary pet clinic on Old State Road 60. It is the last year that the Evingers will receive a tax break for their business.