Main Street Centerville has installed 24 self-watering planters along U.S. 40, thanks to financial support from Wayne County Foundation/Forward Wayne County and businesses, groups and individual sponsors. Additional assistance has come from Centerville Fire/Rescue, Master Gardener Beth Treaster, Twin Cedars Landscaping and volunteers who filled them with soil. Supplied photo

Centerville town council approved some large purchases for water, wastewater and electrical services. 

At its June 25 work session, council authorized Town Manager Kevin Slick to spend a total of $124,950 through several 4-0 votes. Councilor David Cate was absent.  

The largest purchase, $68,950, was for the wastewater plant to upgrade its computer system for phosphorous integration. The system is known as SCADA, which stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.

Despite the newer technology, town employees won’t be able to monitor the plant on their phones. Because of what council members describe as heightened cyber threats, workers must enter the plant.

Council members shared a cautionary example of vulnerable small communities: Tipton, Indiana, had a ransomware attack that shut down its sewer and water plants. Another community discovered chemicals were being increased remotely at an alarming rate. 

Slick also received council’s approval to replace communication systems between the town’s east and west water towers and treatment plant. Slick said the town’s system is antiquated and new parts aren’t available. Occasionally used parts can be located. The two systems cost $42,335 combined.

Council also approved replacing check valves on the high service water pump for $8,095. When one water tower was shut down for maintenance, the other pump began working more. Slick said the maintenance project is going well overall. 

Slick received approval for $5,470 for an electrician to move 400-amp service to the town garage. Substation work and new poles led to the need.

In other business 

  • Council voted to continue contributing half of its Economic Development Income Tax to Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County. 
  • Council agreed to help Centerville Police Department purchase a few radios and radar units for approximately $14,000 until funds come from Wayne County government to reimburse the town. Buchholz said another radio or two might need to be purchased in the future. 
  • No bids were submitted to tear down an unsafe garage at 212 E. Walnut, which meant the project couldn’t be entered in time for a potential grant through Wayne County’s blight elimination program.
  • Main Street Centerville plans to show free movies and offer free or low-cost kids’ activities in Maplewood Park. About 90 minutes of activities such as a sawdust change dive, football toss, chalk drawing, bounce house and $1 face painting begin at 7 p.m. on two Thursdays before the free movie. “Trolls” is July 11, and “Lego Movie” is Aug. 1. Sponsors are helping with expenses. The historic caboose will be open before the movie. Low-cost concessions will be available. 
  • Wayne County Railroaders typically open the caboose on the second and fourth Saturdays each month during summer and early fall. Updated hours are 2-7 p.m. on second Saturdays during the new farmers’ market. Hours remain the same (noon-5 p.m.) on fourth Saturdays. 

Council’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the new town hall, 220 E. Main St., Centerville. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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