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Town gets more than $500,000 for sewer project

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) has awarded the Town of Middletown $550,000 for wastewater improvements.

“This project will install a new sewage macerator, replace a flow monitor and rehabilitate the primary clarification structure at the wastewater treatment plant,” according to an OCRA press release issued earlier this month. “Collection system improvements will include the construction of 650 feet of new sewers.”

Middletown Clerk/Treasurer Drew Cooper said the improvements will help the Middletown waste water treatment plant, which has not been updated since 1993. 

The town also has a separate water treatment plant, which was constructed and put into operation last year, replacing the previous facility built in the 1950s. Some funding to construct the new water treatment plant was also paid for with a previous OCRA grant the town received. 

“You don’t really notice a lot (with sewers),” Cooper said. “But you’d notice if they weren’t there.”

Middletown is providing about $135,000 in matching funds to the new sewer improvements.

Cooper said a portion of residents’ sewer bills is set aside to use for capital improvements like this.

One of the big projects will include coated the large wastewater storage tank to stop any more deterioration. The tank is located near Fall Creek.

“It would be devastating if that tank were to break apart or leak,” Cooper said.

The town is also currently working on separating storm water from sanitary sewage lines. Part of the OCRA grant will cover construction of 650 feet of new sewers in downtown Middletown under Locust Street.

Cooper said the town would like to start the wastewater sewer improvements this summer, but it could be 2019 before any work gets started.

Middletown is one of 21 rural Hoosier communities that is receiving a portion of $11 million in federal grand funding through OCRA.

“We must continue to provide support for our rural communities if we want to keep Indiana’s economy thriving,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “Through these grants, local governments are able to enhance their quality of life for their citizens and encourage more growth opportunities.”