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4/9/2018 10:23:00 AM
Cannelton infrastructure gets grant boost through OCRA grant

Stuart Cassidy, Perry County News Staff Writer

CANNELTON – The city of Cannelton was awarded $519,600 last week through Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ Community Block Development Grant program. The money will help fund stormwater system improvements throughout the city.

The soon-to-begin project will address drainage in three areas throughout the city that regularly flood. New drainage tiles will be installed and collapsed drainage tiles will be replaced.

Estimates for the overall drainage project rang in at $577,600, with the city on tap for 20 percent with OCRA’s assistance. The city’s portion will be about $115,000. The city will be able to fund the match with money from already-held accounts and without the need for additional loans.

Applications for round three of the federal Community Development Block Grant Program were due to OCRA on Feb. 9.

In January, during a public input session for the grant, city leaders announced Pleasant Valley upgrades would include increasing sizes from the existing 15-inch line. Encompassing several blocks of Hamilton Smith Square, a 30-inch diameter pipe would be added, with anticipations that further tie-in improvements can be made during a second phase project.

Improvements along Knight Street near the Bob Cummings bridge, where there aren’t currently any drainage lines, would include regrading of the surrounding area and installation of new 12-inch lines.

That area has been prone to ponding and several sink holes have been reported Earlier this year as flood waters rose, several homeowners experienced backflowing water into their homes through drain lines.

All the work along Knight Street, project developers from Commonwealth Engineers said, would focus on creating a gridwork to allow property owners to tie in to the system if they wish. While it won’t alleviate all of the problems in that area, it is expected to give residents some relief.

Work would continue along Herzeele Street, near the intersection with Dodge Street, where steep sloping creates fast-moving runoff during heavy rains. The heavy flowing water threatens to erode the road and caused sinkholes.

While the area already has some 24-inch line, some bellying and collapsed pipe has been reported, and as such, the plan is to replace it and extend the infrastructure. Efforts would also include regrading ditch banks.

With much of the engineering and pre-planning already complete, Snyder said the city is now awaiting disbursement of the funds.

Once that takes place, they expect to seek bids from contractors, with hopes that ground will be turned by mid- to late summer.

Cannelton’s portion of grant money was part of more than $11 million awarded to 21 rural communities for various projects. Nearby Marengo also was awarded a substantial amount through the CDBG program for a wastewater project.

“We must continue to provide support for our rural communities if we want to keep Indiana’s economy thriving,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said. “Through these grants, local governments are able to enhance their quality of life for their citizens and encourage more growth opportunities.”

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