$8.9 million sewer project won’t bring rate change


By Chris Bavender

Work on four sewer projects in Zionsville identified in the Sewer Master Plan in 2011 could start as early as mid-summer. Of the four, the Oak Street portion will affect the most residents, according to Town Wastewater Supt. Barry Cook.

“This area has been in need of sanitary sewer for years as this area is a wetland and holds water in wet weather,” Cook said. “This groundwater affects how the septic tanks function, and many existing residents are having issues.”

Cook said the project, an 8-inch sewer on the north side of Oak Street from west of Cooper Road to west of Irish Hill and Irishman’s Run creek, where the lift station will be located, will not only help residents but also will open new development along Oak Street.

The other three projects include:

  • Phase 1 gravity sewer on 875 East, which will open up sewer to residents on that stretch of road who have not had it before.
  • Phase 2 gravity sewer on 875 East with lift station and force main, allowing sewer to be run to the western sewer border of the town and Whitestown.
  • North Regional Tower, which will take sewer to the northeastern sewer service area of town, which is Michigan Road and 300 South (146th Street).

“This project (North Regional Tower) is largely developer-driven with the Holliday property getting developed,” Cook said. “But the town is involved so that the additional capacity can be engineered into the overall plan for this area.”

The cost of the four projects, including incidental expenses, is nearly $8,900,000. The breakdown is: Oak Street, $2,230,000; Phase 1, $310,000; Phase 2, $1,380,000; and North Regional, $4,238,000.

“I am seeking approval from the town council to pursue $6,500,000 in bonds, with the remainder of the funds coming from reserves on hand,” Cook said. “All of the developments in these areas will be contributing to the costs of sewer in their development that will be paid to the sewer utility. These costs will be determined on an as-need basis by the town’s engineer, BLN.”

The projects will not create a rate change for customers, Cook said.   

“Growth in town has been good and sufficient to handle these projects at this time,” he said. “That is the reason the town does not need to raise rates.”