Tuesday was the first in-person meeting inside Spiceland Town Hall in over a year as the Spiceland Town Council met for their April meeting.

The council heard a presentation about their stormwater utility and possibly creating a fund. A stormwater utility is a charges user fee specifically pay to create and take care of rainwater drains.

This is treated like a regular utility, just like water and electricity the town already provides.

“It’s just something to look at,” said Spiceland Town Council President Darrin Jacobs. “We have no infrastructure except the county ditch, this is something we could build from the ground up.”

Wessler Engineering gave a presentation Tuesday about stormwater utilities. Wessler is currently providing a preliminary engineering study on Spiceland’s drinking water system.

Wessler Engineering is a civil and environmental engineering firm specializing in wastewater, drinking water and stormwater projects providing services ranging from master planning and design to construction administration and asset management plans.

Wessler Vice President Mary Atkins gave the presentation to the Spiceland Town Council.

Wessler’s role, the the town moves forward with this idea, would be to help Spiceland set up their own stormwater utility.

Atkins also mentioned that Wessler Engineering had established 16 other stormwater utilities in Indiana, and that Wessler can help scope out issues for the town when it comes to issues with drainage or infrastructure or whatever it may be.

Some of the things a stormwater utility could fund include projects for ditches, pipes, labor, equipment, and even sinkholes. Also storm water projects could be funded with this as well, for example if the town needed to add some new pipe infrastructure in a certain area, Atkins said.

There are roughly around 100 stormwater utilities in Indiana, according to Atkins, who mentioned that larger communities can charge less for their storm utility because they have more people and businesses to absorb the cost.

“We would have to justify why we are creating this fund to the people,” Jacobs said, “We could put together a list of at least a half a dozen things we could do with this.”

The council is wanting to get an electronic map of the city, to locate where all the water lines and water equipment is, as well. Wessler mentioned that they have GPS equipment that communicates with satellites and can help distinguish where water lines are, and it makes it a lot easier to access.

There isn’t a sure number yet on how much the town would charge per month for the utility. The town council did not take any action on this presentation and plan to hear a formal proposal at their next meeting on May 11.