News and Tribune

May 16, 2013

Jeffersonville sewer board buys hospital land

Contract approved to keep up with ahead-of-schedule treatment plant



The Jeffersonville Sewer Board on Thursday agreed to purchase a piece of property that it had previously sold to Clark Memorial Hospital.

Discussions about repurchasing the property have been ongoing because the sewer board agreed to install an odor-control system next to the 10th Street pump station at Spring Street. The system, once installed, will have an appearance similar to mulch and is expected to cost $890,000.

A bioscrubber option was chosen for the site in order to keep the entrance of the city free from encumbrances. At a recent sewer board meeting, the group also agreed to place a 12-foot-high synthetic, heavy-duty plastic fence that mimics the look of stone surrounding the pump station to replace the chain-link fence.

In order to install both, the sewer board needed to purchase the land it sold to Clark Memorial Hospital for $319,000, according to a previous report. An appraisal conducted on behalf of the sewer board set the property value at $319,375 for slightly less than one acre.

The board announce during its Thursday meeting an agreement has been reached between the sewer board and the hospital board to repurchase the property for the recent appraisal amount, said Sewer Board Member Dale Orem. He added the hospital’s board approved the deal last week.

However, Sewer Board Attorney Scott Lewis said that neither he, nor the hospital’s attorney, had the specifics of the deal to write up a purchase agreement.

Despite not having a written agreement in place, the sewer board approved the purchase of the property, contingent upon a written agreement for the appraised price and subject to the Clark County Commissioners’ approval. Lewis added that because the hospital is owned by Clark County, the commissioners would also have grant approval.

The vote was 2-0 in favor, with Mayor Mike Moore, who is also a sewer board member, absent from the meeting.

Construction of the biofilter is anticipated to be complete by spring 2014.



Repairs to a pump station in River Ridge Commerce Center were approved without accepting bids for the contracting work in order to meet a tight deadline.

“We need to get that pump station online as close to Aug. 5 as we can,” said Wastewater Superintendent Len Ashack.

He explained that he does not want pump station repairs to hold up the new wastewater treatment plant being constructed in Jeffersonville. The treatment plant contract originally required it be substantially completed by the end of the year, and fully complete by February. However, the contractor is ahead of schedule and the anticipated substantial completion date is Aug. 5.

For the treatment plant to operate correctly, the pump stations that feed the plant — including the one being discussed, which is located behind the River Ridge Development Authority offices at 6200 Ind. 62 — need to be operational.

“I think it’s an emergency for us to do that,” Ashack said.

To help mitigate costs, Ashack asked the sewer board to allow him to buy the equipment to repair the pump station, totaling $70,649. In addition, he asked that the board declare an emergency to request quotes, instead of going through the normal bid process for a project, in order to expedite it.

The board agreed.

“We don’t want to delay the start of our new plant,” said Sewer Board Member Bill Saegesser. “It would cost us a lot of money to delay it.”

Both requests were unanimously approved. The quotes the sewer board receives for the work are expected to be opened May 31.