By BRADEN LAMMERS
Before work has begun, Clarksville’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has hit several snags.
At a work session following the regular Clarksville Town Council meeting Clarksville Project Coordinator Brittany Montgomery said an archeological site was discovered in Midway Park.
The park is located adjacent to the plant and has been closed since December to allow for the plant’s expansion. And as part of a phase-one study, which is required because there is federal funding designated for the project, an archeological site was discovered.
Montgomery said there are two options to deal with the historic site.
One is to avoid the archeological site and construct a 50 foot buffer around the area that has been designated by the Indiana State Historic Preservation Officer.
However, a water line and fiber optic cable still run through the site and would have to be relocated.
The second option is to conduct a phase-two study to know exactly what areas are impacted, which could likely lead to a phase-three study. If the town pursued the phase-two study, the earliest Clarksville would know the extent of the impacted areas would be June or July, Montgomery said.
If Clarksville conducted a phase-two study it would miss the Indiana Department of Environmental Management deadlines and she did not have a cost estimate for a phase-two study.
The town had reached an agreed order with IDEM that calls for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and collection system including 10 pumping stations around town to be rehabilitated at a cost of about $18.2 million.
The plans to address the archeological site are contingent upon what the state allows.
“This is all contingent on the State Historic Preservation Officer approving it,” Montgomery said. “We could say we want to do the buffer ... and the historic preservation officer could still come back at us and still require us to do the phase-two [study].”
HDR Engineering Inc., who was contracted to complete expansion plans, was at the work session to present potential layouts for the wastewater plant. Once a layout is approved, HDR could move ahead with drafting designs.
Another issue with a sewer line was presented to the council during the regular meeting.
Montgomery asked for an emergency declaration to seek bids in order to repair a sewer line that was patched last week.
The line, which runs under Lincoln Drive caused a section of the roadway, in the 2500 block, to collapse Feb. 14.
According to Tom Clevidence, director of engineering and storm water operations for the town, a sewer pipe beneath the road had been leaking. Liquid from the pipe caused the road to destabilize and eventually cave in, he said in a previous report.
Clarksville repaired the leak, but after the initial repair inspected the rest of the line and discovered it had been corroded by hydrogen sulfide, a natural sewer gas.
“The entire line ... is corroded and needs to be replaced and rehabbed immediately,” Montgomery said.
The options to repair the 1,500 foot length of pipe that is damaged is to either replace the full pipe, or to rehabilitate the pipe with a cured-in place pipe, CIPP. The second option would essentially install a pipe inside the existing pipe and prevent its potential collapse.
In either case the repairs need to move ahead quickly.
“This is a public safety issue because we don’t know how much longer that line could go,” Montgomery said. “In all honesty it could collapse tomorrow.”
To replace the pipe the town estimated the costs at about $241,000 and the CIPP repair would cost about $220,000.
The council unanimously approved the emergency contract to seek bids.
In other business:
• At a work session before the regular town council meeting the Clarksville Fire Department made a presentation, which will precede a request, to add additional firefighters to its department.
Clarksville Fire Chief Tom Upton said at full staffing levels there are 11 firefighters spread across three stations during a shift.
The request would increase the number to 15 to 17 firefighters per shift so there are a minimum of four fire fighters per truck.
There are currently 32 full-time fire fighters on staff in the Clarksville Fire Department.
• A request was made by Bekki Schneider, with the Derby Dinner Playhouse, asking the council to designate $5,000 to a marketing campaign designed to draw people back to the area following the reopening of the Sherman Minton Bridge.
The campaign is being run by the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau and is meant to counteract the habits consumers developed in the wake of the bridge’s closure and to avoid congestion on the Interstate 65 Kennedy Bridge.
The request was tabled until the council’s next meeting.
• Volunteers with Jesus Cares at Exit 0 requested that the town of Clarksville notify them up to two weeks in advance before sweeping homeless camps.
The group wants notification before the Clarksville Street and Police Departments go in to clean up the camps, which are mainly under I-65 and border Jeffersonville and Clarksville.
A similar request was made recently to the city of Jeffersonville, who said they would notify the volunteers before conducting sweeps.
Clarksville’s council directed the volunteers to work with the police chief and the street commissioner.