HARROD — The Village of Harrod is considering buying water from the City of Lima, through a project administered by the Allen Water District.
An informational meeting was held at the Allen East Community Center in Harrod Thursday night to help people understand the project better.
“It’s really on the fence. We want to do what’s right for the community. We’ve had a lot of community members that are totally against it and then now they’re for it. We’ve got to come up with a good way to get everybody’s opinion and go from there and let the council make a logical choice for the community,” said Shannon Rumer, mayor of Harrod.
Nearly 50 people showed up to hear information on the potential project.
“They asked if we could come along, have a fact sheet, maybe answer some questions because you know how rumors can start. I guess there’s some things being said,” said Steve Kayatin, secretary of the Allen Water District.
“I’ve heard some things. They believe the City of Lima is going to charge $4,000 on top of whatever they have to pay, and that’s not the case. We just lowered all of our fees. The connection fee would be $500,” he said.
The goal is to get the costs per customer down to $70 a month.
The estimated cost of the project involving Harrod and the Village of Lafayette is $8.5 million. Some of that would be defrayed through assistance from Community Development Block Grants and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Allen County, the City of Lima, the Allen Water District are all expected to chip in to fund the project.
“The primary one we’re looking at is the USDA, and they’re insisting that each one of the villages adopt a mandatory connection fee. If they do that, they’ll have to connect and pay the debt service for the project,” he said.
The project consists of constructing a waterline with fire hydrants from Westminster to the Villages of Harrod and Lafayette, serving all residents of each village.
The cost of the project is anticipated to be paid for through issuance of water revenue bonds, which are paid back through monthly debt service charges to all property owners — whether they connect or not.
If the villages of Harrod and Lafayette agree to move forward, construction could begin as early as December 2019 with completion expected by October 2020.
Additional informational meetings are planned for August and September.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.