To get ahead of anticipated federal mandates on water line improvements while funds are available, Centerville’s council unanimously approved a contract toward securing $3 million in forgivable state loans.

The $5 million project will replace a portion of the town’s lead lines and inspecting/cleaning/painting water towers.

Centerville will be responsible for $2 million.

Council President Dan Wandersee said at council’s Oct. 30 work session that the town’s water customers will need to pay $5 per month to pay back the loan when the plan is finalized.

He and councilor Josh Tudor agreed it’s sensible to reduce the pending costs for residents with this limited-time funding opportunity.

“I just can’t see passing up 0% interest and $3 million of that being forgiven,” Wandersee said.

Wandersee said homeowners likely would be responsible for replacing their own connections in the future, so having a portion of the cost forgiven through a town-organized project will reduce that burden.

Council’s contract is with Indianapolis-based Lochmueller Group, which helps communities with infrastructure projects.

  • Council unanimously approved buying the former U.S. Bank branch building on East Main to move town offices there. As of Monday, the owner was considering the offer.
  • Police Chief Ed Buchholz said officers are receiving several complaints about vehicles parked the wrong direction on town streets. He’d like to include a note in upcoming utility bills to urge compliance. Police will try to speak with vehicle owners before citations are issued, but citations are possible, he said.
  • Councilor Gary Holbert thanked those involved in the unsafe building demolition on Fourth Street near the water tower and lawn seeding, saying it looked good.
  • Councilor Jack Bodiker presented an offer by Hiram Masonic Lodge to purchase signs for the edges of town. Wandersee said Centerville can make decisions on north/south signs, but anything on U.S. 40 must go through Indiana Department of Transportation.
  • Council allowed Town Manager Kevin Slick to send a letter to INDOT asking for small portions of four roads the town currently maintains, totaling about a half mile, to be added to inventory that’s eligible for INDOT reimbursement. They’re on Willow Grove and Means roads, Maplenut Drive and Locust Lane.
  • Center Township Trustee Vicki Chasteen has been working to secure financing for a weather siren at Round Barn Road and U.S. 40 to cover Toschlog and Woodlawn areas.
  • Council voted for the clerk’s office to work with State Board of Accounts to rectify a payroll glitch from 2022. Buchholz unknowingly received a doubled longevity payment. Council prefers Buchholz keep the additional compensation.
  • Council conducted a public hearing on an additional appropriations ordinance from the general, fire and local road/street funds. No one spoke. Council approved the ordinance 5-0.
  • Council granted permission for the fire/rescue auxiliary to offer its soup supper from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the station on South Morton. They’ll request donations.
  • Town hall is closed Nov. 10 for Veterans Day and Nov. 23-24 for Thanksgiving.

Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Nov. 14 in town hall, 204 E. Main St. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 8 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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