MOUNT CARMEL -- Mount Carmel Water Commissioner Justin Dulgar told the Mount Carmel City Council that the time is near to make a decision on proceeding with the regional water plant project.
Dulgar said he will need a vote which would allow the Wabash Valley Water Commission to move forward with the next step in the process of trying to obtain funding for the $20.4 million project.
"There will be costs incurred by the four communities in moving forward," warned Dulgar. Environmental and archaeological surveys must be completed at the proposed site of the regional water plant. Those studies are required in order to complete the funding application for the United State Department of Agriculture grant and loan program.
Dulgar said each of the four communities represented in the water commission -- Mount Carmel, Keensburg, Grayville and Albion -- would have to contribute funds to pay for the studies.
"Each community's board needs to approve the water commission moving forward, since there will be costs involved. We are not committing to the project, just agreeing to move forward with trying to get funding through the USDA," explained Dulgar.
Dulgar said the he will ask the city council for approval in moving forward within the next month or two.
The original engineering report from Lamac Engineering estimated total cost of the project at $18.5 million, but, after a review from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was recommended to increase the operating and maintenance costs, as well as the contingency funds for the project. The new total estimated cost for the regional water plant is $20.4 million.
The proposed regional water plant would provide water to all four communities, with the possibility of letting other communities come on board also.
The water commission will be in charge of running and maintaining the facility, and each community would have to pay a certain amount for water to the commission.
The Wabash Valley Water Commission meets Thursday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at Albion City Hall.