Markle to move forward with water tower project

The Markle Town Council decided Wednesday, Feb. 18, to move forward with a proposed water tower project.

Fleis and Vandenbrink Engineering Inc. representatives John Canton and David Harvey were at the meeting to present funding possibilities and to explain the general process of the project.

The project to create a 200,000-gallon elevated water tower and connect a water main is expected to take until the end of 2010 to complete.

To begin, a preliminary engineering report would be conducted, allowing the engineers to create an electronic water system model. Water usage, known deficiencies and fire flow objective data will all be entered in order to simulate projected water demands at locations throughout town.

The next phase would secure funding for the estimated $1.1 million project. Canton presented the council with several options to consider.

Two viable options are grants from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The first, a planning grant, would be for up to $50,000 and would require a 10 percent local match by the town of Markle. The option Canton recommends, also from OCRA, is the Community Focus Fund (CFF) grant. This grant offers up to $600,000 with a 20 percent local match.

Another grant available to the town is the State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG). A letter has already been submitted by Canton on behalf of the Town requesting the grant. If Indiana receives fiscal assistance through the new economic stimulus package, the town may qualify to receive the grant.

After the town secures the funding, it can move forward with the design of the water tower and connection for the water main. The plans and specifications will then be submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Following the approval from IDEM and obtaining construction permits, contractor bidding will begin. Fleis and Vandenbrink representatives will assist the town in reviewing the bids and will write a letter of recommendation for award of contract to the funding agency.

Upon awarding of the contract, construction of the project will begin. The construction phase is expected to last nine months.

The council unanimously a contract with the engineering firm, with the price not to exceed $12,000. for the preliminary engineering report.

In other business, Council President Tamra Boucher reported that recycling pick-up was restarted Feb. 19 following the purchase of the Pathfinder Services Inc. recycling business by Marion Services. Recycling for the town will be picked up every other Monday, with regular trash collected every Monday.