By BRADEN LAMMERS
Following four presentations given last month, the Jeffersonville-Clarksville Flood Control District chose a company to conduct a watershed study before work begins on the Cane Run and Mill Creek pump stations.
The district agreed to issue bonds for the project to rehabilitate or replace the two pump stations at an amount of up to $7.5 million at an August meeting. But before the project is set to begin, a watershed study that will help to determine final design of the stations will be conducted.
Strand Associates was unanimously chosen — out of four companies submitting plans — to complete the watershed study by the flood control district board Friday, but the potential costs for the study was not as uniformly accepted.
“There’s quite a bit of range that we could work into the scope, but I’m thinking somewhere between $120,000 and $150,000,” said John Herriford with Strand Associates when asked what the potential costs would total.
“I would make this suggestion before any hours are put into this project: I strongly recommend you re-evaluate those numbers,” said Jeffersonville Mayor and board member Mike Moore. “That number’s quite a bit higher than we were told to anticipate.”
Following the meeting, Clarksville Town Councilman and board member Paul Kraft said the presentations to complete the watershed study were made without a price tag attached to the plans. Jeffersonville City Attorney Les Merkley asked Herriford to come back to the board with a proposal containing several tiers of work and pricing before the board enters into a final contract.
To help drive down the cost, Clarksville Project Manager Brittany Montgomery said she would provide information from a $50,000 preliminary water study the town had already commissioned from Stantec. In addition, information already available for the Jeffersonville Cane Run watershed would be rolled into the study and updated.
With the hope that the cost for the study would be lowered, the board also discussed how the flood control district will pay for the study.
Kraft said the plan was to split the cost for the study in equal portions between the town of Clarksville, the flood control district and the city of Jeffersonville. Merkley said the funding request for Jeffersonville would likely go first to the drainage board, then to city council if it was not approved.
Kraft said an interlocal agreement would have to be drafted, but he added that he was confident that the town council would agree to fund its portion of the costs.
“Clarksville currently has budgeted up to $50,000 set aside to assist with [the study],” Montgomery said.
Moore added that amount of money should pay for more than half of the study that needs to be completed.