By DAVE MARTIN
THE GOSHEN NEWS
MIDDLEBURY — The Town Council approved a motion Monday to authorize Town Council President Gary O’Dell to sign construction and retainage contracts, when finalized, for three proposed sewer projects totaling $13.5 million.
The prior approval will allow construction to begin before the next council meeting.
Fetters Construction Co. Inc. of Auburn will upgrade the town’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer lift stations in order to increase Middlebury’s treatment plant capacity.
Meanwhile, Selge Construction of Niles will install an interceptor sewer at the popcorn lift station and a forced main from the north lift station to the treatment plant and will upgrade the Spring Valley 2 lift station and lift station telemetry in Middlebury.
Town Manager Mark Salee said two months ago that construction would take about a year-and-a-half on all three projects.
Town Clerk Peggy Hutchison told the council Monday that Middlebury has two years to complete the projects, according to the terms of the state special revenue fund loan that the town has been awarded. Middlebury will pay an interest rate of just 1.5-percent on the loan for the three projects.
A 44 percent across-the-board increase in sewer rates for Middlebury customers has been approved to help repay the $13.5 million bond.
In other business, the council accepted an in lieu of annexation agreement with MYRRH Properties LLC. The company will not remonstrate against annexation in return for the town providing water and sanitary sewer services to the firm, located just south of the town limits.
Council members also approved four job descriptions for the wastewater department. Even though four were approved, Salee said that not all of those positions must be filled. Currently, two employees work full-time in the department, but the council approved funding for three Monday. Therefore, one new “laborer” position will be filled shortly, he said.
Communitywide garage sales will be held in Middlebury May 17 and 18, O’Dell announced.