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Center Point receives grant

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Roger Campbell
After waiting on pins and needles for a handful of months, the town of Center Point has secured the grant money it was hoping for.

Recently, Town Clerk/Treasurer Roger Campbell informed The Brazil Times the town was awarded $956,000 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to help pay for town water and sewer upgrades.

"We had gotten some money in 2001 or 2002, but nothing like this, though," Campbell said. "The money has been earmarked for water and sewer (upgrades) that have been mandated by the state actually for some time. We haven't had the money to start working on them."

The council conducted a public hearing in mid-June to discuss the grant process with town residents.

During the July meeting of the Center Point Town Council, President Roy Smith informed members of the public the town had begun working with West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc., (WCIEDD) grant administrator Kristy Jerrell in order to secure the money.

Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering, Terre Haute, has worked with the council regarding the grant money, telling the council its best option was to apply for a DR-2 through OCRA, which had to be completed by July 2.

Officials with Hannum, Wagle and Cline had told The Brazil Times earlier this year the initial idea was to put together a utility master plan for the town. However, those plans were scrapped after the firm believed the town was in a good position to obtain DR-2 funds.

In 2009, Congress appropriated $300 million in Community Development Block Grant funds following the 2008 flooding. Indiana, according to the OCRA website, was awarded $67 million in recovery funding.

Campbell said the town was notified in September it had received the grant.

Campbell added Jerrell had informed the council she was scheduled to have a meeting with OCRA officials Wednesday to discuss releasing the funds.

He told The Brazil Times the money would be used to help improve a booster station the town runs at the corner of County Road 600 North and CR 200 E, near Jackson Township Elementary School.

"To turn (the pump) off and on, you have to crawl in it," Campbell said. "The state doesn't like that, for obvious reasons. It's not safe. For several months, this pump has had to be taken care of manually. That was going to be quite costly to repair.

"We've been holding out on word of this grant."

Campbell added there is only one pump at the area and the state had recently notified town officials it required two "redundant" pumps in that location in case something happens to one of them.

"There will be two pumps instead of one," he said.

He said the town plans to replace pumps in its sewer system as well.

He said the money was imperative after the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) had requested the improvements, adding if the town had not received the grant money at this time, it would have applied again.

"The state's been very good to work with," Campbell said. "We've been able to patch things up. We've just been able to take care of most of, or a lot of it, by being really vigilant. It's very costly in the long run."

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-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 11:35 AM

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