Trafalgar gets grant to overhaul drinking water system

Trafalgar’s drinking water system will receive a $1.2 million dollar overhaul this year to reduce maintenance costs and increase the system’s capacity for new homes and businesses.

This summer, old pipes will be dug up and replaced, a new metering system will be installed, new offices will be built for the utility department and the water tower will be cleaned, repaired and painted. Trafalgar received a $700,000 grant, and will spend another $450,000 of local tax dollars on the project, council member Jason Ramey said.

Because upgrades to the water systems have been put off, maintenance such as fixing pipes when they break, has become increasingly costly and time consuming, Ramey said. With the age of the water system, finding the right parts when ones break can be a challenge for town workers, Ramey said.

The upgrades will lower maintenance costs and make it easier for employees to monitor and test the water quality, Ramey said.

And the system will be ready to take on additional homes and businesses that are constructed, he said.

The town would not have been able to afford the project without the grant, he said. The federal Community Development Block Grant Program provides funds for states to give grants for community development. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which administers the program in the state, recently awarded $11 million to 21 communities across Indiana for projects ranging from the construction of a new fire station to upgrading old stormwater systems, a news release said.

Trafalgar has a variety of options for its portion of the funding, including money from its tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, or utility departments or after another loan is set to be paid off soon, Ramey said.

The work is planned to take place this summer, meaning some road closures will likely be necessary as old pipes are dug up and replaced. Residents may also have temporary water outages and reductions in water pressure during the project, he said.

At a glance

Trafalgar recently received a federal grant to cover the cost of upgrading its drinking water system. Here’s a look at some details of the project:

What: Replacing aging water pipes, cleaning and repairing the water tower, installing a new metering system and building a utility office.

When: Work is expected to take place this summer

Cost: $1.2 million

Grant: $700,000

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.