Mayor pledges no increase in water rates

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City has received $900,000 in grants to build new storage tank

By Linda Ireland

The City of Hodgenville needs nearly $1 million to pay for a new 300,000-gallon water tower on Greensburg Street.

But that will not mean an increase in water and sewer rates, according to Mayor Terry Cruse.

Thanks to several grants and the city’s policy of earmarking about $10,000 each month for the project, the tank is nearly paid for.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Cruse said the city will pay only about $211,000 of the total cost of the tower, engineering fees, any extra excavation fees and for the site where the tank will be located.

The city has received $900,000 in grants plus has saved $155,000 during the last 14 months through cutbacks and fiscal belt-tightening. He anticipates saving another $70,000 toward the project by the time it is complete.

Caldwell Tanks Inc., a Louisville-based company, submitted the low bid – $918,700 – on the project Sept. 3. And although GRW, the engineering company overseeing the project, has not yet made a recommendation, city officials expect Caldwell to be awarded the bid.

Phoenix Fabricators of Indiana was the only other bidder at $1,063,441.

Ashley Willoughby, community development specialist for Lincoln Trail Area Development District, is assisting the city with the grant process.

“Receiving an 85 percent grant on this project is a good deal,” he said, adding that steel prices have doubled since the water tower was first proposed.

After the new water tower is built, the old one will be scrapped through a bidding process.

In other business:

•City council adopted a 4 percent increase in property tax rates which will mean income for the city of $132,325 for next year. That’s an increase of $5,334 from the previous year.

•Trick-or-Treat times were set for the city. Trick-or-Treat on the Square begins at 5 p.m. Oct. 31 with costume contests. It will be followed by citywide Trick-or-Treat 6-8 p.m.

•Cruse announced the lights at Creekfront Park will be installed after Lincoln Days.

•The city annexed parts of three roads through ordinance –  Lincoln Boulevard, Old Sonora Road and Lee Oak Drive.