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December 9, 2013

Board of Works: Sewage fees waived on Indiana 46

Bypassing ‘tap fees’ part of land deal on east side

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Board of Works and Public Safety approved a memorandum of understanding Monday between the board and the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment to waive sewer connection fees along part of Indiana 46/U.S. 40 on the city’s east side to promote future development.

Fees charged to businesses hooking up to the city’s sewers, known as “tap fees,” can be several thousand dollars.

According to the agreement, the Board will waive future tap fees along a stretch of Indiana 46/U.S. 40 near the east-side Walmart store in return for an easement on 2,400 feet of frontage along the east-side of the highway allowing for the construction of a sewer line. The property owner, Greg Gibson, has agreed to provide the easement for the sewer line on land valued at more than $300,000, said Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Department of Redevelopment.

“We’re getting a better deal,” said Chou-il Lee, city attorney, commenting on the agreement. Normally, the city would have to pay for such an easement, officials stated. The city’s department of engineering, in a letter to the board, recommended the agreement be accepted by the board.

The easement along the east side of Indiana 46/U.S. 40 across from the Walmart shopping area is needed for the Department of Redevelopment to install a sewer line to serve future development in that area. Waiving the fees will improve the marketability of the land, Lambert said.

Several developers have inquired about the property in that area, Lambert said. Most recently, the city paved the way for Meijer, a big box department and grocery store, to build on the east side of Indiana 46/U.S. 40 in the same area.

n The Terre Haute Fire Department is in the home-stretch in a multi-year project to upgrade its fleet of fire trucks. The Board of Works also approved a request for financing for two new pumper trucks at a total cost of more than $792,000.

The request asks lending institutions to submit bids to finance the purchases to the Board of Works by 2 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Board of Works office in City Hall.

For the past several years, the fire department has been replacing its fire trucks. These two pumper trucks should be the last two in that effort, a fire official present at the meeting told the board.

n The board approved specifications for six new city buses.

If all goes smoothly, the six new buses, expected to be 30 feet in length, should be on the road by April or May, said Brad Miller, transportation director for the city. Payment for the buses will come mostly from the Federal Transportation Administration, he said. The city must meet 20 percent of the cost.

The Board of Public Works and safety is a five-person body appointed by the mayor.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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