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The price of progress isn’t cheap, but it’s unavoidable.

For too many years, past Sellersburg leaders ignored wastewater rates, refusing to raise them as a means to appease voters.

In February, the Sellersburg Town Council made the best of a bad situation. It approved raising sewer rates for the first time in 20 years, phasing in what will amount to about a 140% increase.

The town had little choice. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management had notified Sellersburg officials in 2019 that the town’s wastewater plant was almost at 90% capacity. Without an expansion or the construction of a new facility, Sellersburg would be prohibited from adding new developments to its system.

The rate increases approved by the town council are, in part, footing a $20 million expansion of the wastewater plant. This expansion isn’t just important because of IDEM. It’s critical to Sellersburg’s future.

And the future is certainly bright for the Clark County town.

Sellersburg is attracting new residents and businesses, and its leadership is demonstrating forward-thinking.

The Sellersburg 2040 Comprehensive Plan is an award-winning blueprint for smart growth. It marries the town’s foundation and sense of community to its pride and legacy. It encompasses support for existing neighborhoods and businesses along with a vision for how Sellersburg could look in two decades.

It’s the kind of vision past leaders should have developed, and perhaps the town’s wastewater customers wouldn’t have been slapped with such a sizable increase over a short amount of time.

The community has its own school system with the formation of Silver Creek School Corp. The biggest challenge facing the school system is how it will handle population growth, which is a good problem to have.

We know about the successes of Jeffersonville, New Albany and Clarksville. We know that Charlestown stands to enjoy substantial economic and residential growth thanks to the ever-expanding River Ridge Commerce Center. But Sellersburg is also a desirable community, and while there are infrastructure and traffic issues that must be addressed, the town’s leadership deserves credit for what’s being accomplished.

Those leaders shoveled dirt Monday afternoon in commemoration of the expansion of Sellersburg’s wastewater plant. It’s not the kind of event people tell their grandchildren about, but in two decades, the expansion could be viewed as having been the catalyst for another wave of growth and improvement.

That success will be attributed to leaders who had a vision and the courage to pursue it. Sellersburg residents and business owners can also share in that success.

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