Wessler Engineering gave Cambridge City’s town council a $1.6 million estimate for a booster station capable of providing fire flow for Mount Auburn in the water project’s Phase 1B.

The initial goal was to get the existing booster station operational again, but engineers learned it was sized for Mount Auburn’s domestic flow only. Fire Chief Jeff Gabbard said flow has been an issue.

Mount Auburn’s water rates would need to increase to pay for the expanded work. Discussions will continue.

Meanwhile, Culy Contracting requested a 90-day Phase 1B extension, citing delays on SCADA computer equipment. Wessler says Culy didn’t order equipment until four months after the contract began.

The per-day late penalty is $1,400. At its Oct. 9 meeting, council agreed to 90 days, charging half the penalty ($63,000). Beyond 90 days, Culy pays full penalties.

In an unrelated project, council hired Culy for an approximately $14,000 valve repair addressing a water leak at 501 S. Green St.


Public Works Superintendent Ken Risch found serious concerns after visiting 411 and 415 W. Front St. Council will require demolition of those unsafe buildings.

Risch will contact 14 N. Plum about a demolition derby car in the yard and other issues.

A fine will be assessed for remaining debris at 502 E. Main; if progress stalls, it gets another fine/letter. Town is mowing and removing weeds at 308 W. Maple.

Another letter goes to 501 E. Church because cars were removed but mattresses remain.

Trash in the alley at 503 E. Church was cleaned.

In other business

  • Council approved the town’s 2024 budget. Despite inflation, town attorney Bob Bever is pleased the tax rate only increased 1.7 % while adding a new police officer and providing raises to town employees.
  • Jason DeBoo of Co-Alliance suggested a partnership for fuel tanks to serve town vehicles and fixed prices offering potential savings. Upon receiving more details on fuel needs, he’ll prepare a proposal.
  • Police Chief Richard Roberts expects a $15,760.99 settlement for a wrecked police vehicle with 127,000 miles. Council supported buying a low-mileage replacement, using settlement and $10,000 American Rescue Plan Act funds. Council agreed to donate the wrecked vehicle’s K9 kennel to Fountain City because it won’t fit in the new vehicle.
  • While applying for a state grant to build a performance venue behind the fire station, officials discovered the station and about half the ground behind is in the right of way of Green Street and wasn’t platted properly. Survey quotes will be obtained so the application can proceed. Bever recommends a title record search.
  • Chamber of Commerce’s Jama Carpenter sought sponsorship of veteran/active duty banners ($180 for banner/hardware). Council approved $500. Applications are due Oct. 24. Call 765-960-5814.  
  • Council accepted $1,570 donations to CCVFD from Canal Days food purchases and $600 toward the CCPD’s K9 project from Blue Buffalo.
  • Council President Steve Sorah appointed Robert Miller to Advisory Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Risch thanked Cambridge City Christian Church volunteers for painting two park buildings.
  • Rumpke will pick up large trash from its customers at no extra charge Nov. 6.
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A version of this article appeared in the October 18 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.