Ken Jones from Rafinski, Jones & Petrie, engineering consultants from South Bend hired by the Marshall County Health Department in 2019 to complete a study for the Water Task Force. The idea has been to create a Regional Sewer District in the county.
Earlier this year Jones reported to the County Commissioners the results of the study with a list of 15 locations throughout the county that are underserved with a safe, long-term way to handle their wastewater. During his initial report he suggested the first project be Tyner, Teagarden, Inwood and a subdivision immediately south of Plymouth. The idea of grouping their projects together would allow the four areas to share in the total cost of the project making it more feasible for the smaller communities.
During Monday’s meeting Jones explained the process of applying for a Regional Sewer District. He noted there would be at least two public hearings on the plan. He also said while he or the County Commissioners could recommend where to begin or start a project, it would be up to the Regional Sewer District Board whose members would be appointed by the Commissioners and Council. Jones said boards are typically 3 to 9 members with the majority of them being 5 to 7 members.
Jones told the Commissioners, “As we move closer to the public hearing and finalizing the PER (preliminary engineering report) we had initially presented 4 different priority service areas that we thought could potentially be assembled to make a reasonably affordable project. More recently we have been hearing from people in the community and from you that we might want to change the recommendation and possibly go with a single service area at the lakes area south of Plymouth.”
The project Jones was referring to is labeled PSA 11 which includes Lake Latonka, Mill Pond, Lawrence Lake and the residential areas surrounding the lakes. In the study they found there were about 627 EDU’s (equivalent dwelling unit) and estimated the total combined project cost to be $20 million with a recommended monthly target rate for residents of $80 to $90 per month. He said it would depend on the funding model and grant availability.
After listening to Ken Jones, Marshall County Commissioner Mike Burroughs motioned to make PSA 11, the lake area south of Plymouth the initiating project for the Regional Sewer District application with the state as recommended by Ken Jones. Commissioner Stan Klotz seconded the motion and the commissioners unanimously approved the motion.