More Centerville residents should have less lead in their drinking water next year.

The town qualified for $2 million in forgivable loans from Indiana’s State Revolving Fund toward eliminating lead lines. This second phase of the project will cost about $5 million. 

Council President Dan Wandersee thought it wise to pursue that funding before it dries up. He anticipates a federal mandate coming soon to require the work be done, increasing demand for funding.

Wandersee said the town will be about half done with lead line elimination after this phase. The first phase a few years prior addressed the town’s oldest neighborhoods.

Engineers will soon analyze water infrastructure to determine the best areas to tackle now. The town’s homes built in the last 10 years shouldn’t need new lines.

Wandersee expects bidding will be finished in February or March and construction will start in April.

Fire station hearing

Council conducted another public hearing to pursue a $500,000 state grant for fire station renovations.

Goals are accommodating a future aerial truck, installing a diesel exhaust system to improve air quality and a fire extinguishing system to protect vehicles, and providing showers for female firefighters.

Councilor Josh Tudor said many of those projects will be required for OSHA compliance, so it’s best to seek financial help.

Chief Dennis Spears said an aerial truck is needed to qualify for another insurance rates analysis, potentially lowering residential and commercial premiums.

Additional letters of support are sought soon. They can be sent to Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher at town hall, 204 E. Main St., Centerville, IN 47330.

In other business

  • Residents should monitor the town’s website,, to learn when a planned electric outage will take place during a major upgrade at Mattie Harris (weather permitting). It is expected to last a maximum of three hours. 
  • No residents spoke during a public hearing on the town’s proposed 2024 budget.
  • Paving of McMinn Road south from U.S. 40 to Willow Grove should begin within a couple weeks.
  • Council heard a request from Main Street and Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce to allow young professionals to voluntarily paint designs and activities for young children on a walking path. Physical therapists have said the movements can contribute to brain development. Councilors want to work through any safety or liability concerns before their 7 p.m. Sept. 26 work session at town hall.
  • First responders aim to fill a truck at Richmond’s Walmart with food donated by shoppers between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 7 for their holiday giveaway.
  • Council approved Main Street Centerville’s plans to repeat a downtown fall scarecrow decorating contest and place candy canes on utility poles for Christmas in Centerville from 4-9 p.m. Dec. 2. It also approved fireworks after Centerville Senior High School’s Homecoming football game on Sept. 22.
  • Town Manager Kevin Slick earned an AIM municipal manager certification.
  • To recognize Kyle Turner, who is taking a break from the Main Street board after many years, the organization is creating a Kyle Turner Hometown Spirit Award to recognize dedicated service. 
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A version of this article appeared in the September 20 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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