Hagerstown urged to pursue master utility plan

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>>> TOWN SWITCHING OUT ELECTRIC METERS

Starting on July 11, crews will be visiting Hagerstown homes and businesses to begin switching out the old electric meters for new ones. Area residents can expect the project to take six- to eight weeks.

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The Town of Hagerstown is making plans to apply for a Community Block Development Grant to be used for planning a master utility plan.
There will be a public hearing regarding the grant application at 6:30 p.m. July 5 before the town council’s regular meeting. Town residents are invited to comment on the proposal.
Council members began making plans to apply for the grant during their May meeting when they met with Greg Beymer, a representative of Kleinpeter Consulting Group of Whiteland, Ind. In the recent past, the Hagerstown council has, with Kleinpeter Consulting’s assistance, applied for state funding to assist with a water infrastructure improvement project for South Perry Street; but the application was denied.
Kleinpeter Consulting is recommending Hagerstown pursue a broader grant for a master utility plan from the Indiana Office of Community Rural Affairs (OCRA)’s Community Development Block Grant planning program. This program is funded by Title I of the federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.
Kleinpeter Consulting is recommending Hagerstown seek a grant of $90,000 to examine the town’s water, wastewater and stormwater operations and develop a plan for improvements, prioritizing the most critical needs.
If approved, the town will be required to contribute a local match of $10,000 to the project, including $5,000 from the town’s water operating fund and $5,000 from the town’s wastewater operating fund.
To support that application, Kleinpeter Consulting recommended that the town authorize an income study of residents. Community Development Block Grants are awarded on the basis that 51 percent or more residents are low- to moderate-income. Beymer told the council that the last census showed the community at 46.3% low- to moderate-income and that he and Mike Kleinpeter believed a new study would prove an increase to 51 percent.

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