Jeffersonville Mayor Answers EPA Sewage Mandate

by Devin Katayama on January 26, 2012

Jeffersonville, Indiana Mayor Mike Moore has proposed a $30 million project, responding to the Environmental Protection Agency mandate to control the city’s sewage from flowing into the Ohio River.

“The mandate is something the previous administration had put off until another phase. We’re doing that now,” Moore said.

The project includes the development of a new park, called Falls Landing Park, that will include a two-acre retention pond. Because this project will answer the EPA’s mandate it should be a priority, he said.

“This meets the EPA demand. The city was doing this down the road so this was a project that was going to need to be done. I’m saying we need to do this first and I think once we do this we will have met the demands that the EPA’s out on us,” he said.

There are two major projects that the city needs to complete. One includes limiting the amount of sewage being dumped into the Ohio River. The second sets up a conveyance system to manage all other storm overflow. That was included in the city’s $65 million canal project, which was nixed by Moore for being too costly.

Moore now said he’ll complete project one first, by building the pond. By completing the project, it may answer other issues that negate any future canal project all together, he said.

But that’s to be seen. An alternative to the canal project seems to still be on the table according to a report provided to media Thursday.

Moore suggests to, “Delay any decision on how to proceed with the Canal Project for now. Further analysis is needed in order to determine if the Canal is the best and most cost-effective storm water conveyance option, how the project can and should be funded, and to obtain private investor commitments and/or create public/private partnerships. The Canal or any other alternate drainage project will be incorporated and analyzed in the Storm Water Master Plan currently underway and being administered by the Drainage Board.”

In the meantime, the second project will not add any new taxes, but will rely on the 2009 sewage rate increases to continue through 2015.

Moore expects the project to be complete in three years.

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