Monroe to pay for share of Berne lagoon project

Authored by Jim Langham on Jun 6, 2014

Members of the Monroe Town Council voted on Thursday evening to pay that town’s “fair share” of the new lagoon project facing the city of Berne.
“Monroe has had its share of the Berne lagoon ever since our system was installed in the 1970s,” said Monroe council president Al Lehman. “We are liable for our share of the capacity. We both share the same lagoon.”
Lehman said that Monroe’s share of usage has increased due to business and residential growth over the past four years.
Lehman said that rather than take out its own financing program, Monroe officials will pay Berne toward its financial obligations. The president noted that cost can’t be fully projected until Berne officials determine the final cost, but currently, it appears that the Monroe portion will be in the vicinity of $4,500 for 240 months (20 years).
Council members voted to approve the payment recommendation.
Lehman said that the town continues to work out wrinkles in financing a health insurance program for city employees Marty and Justin Shaffer.
“We have to have something that meets the Obama care requirements,” said Lehman.
Lehman said a premium increase to put Monroe in compliance is close to $10,000 for the two employees. He noted that there is a coalition of Indiana towns like Monroe that are trying to band together to help with the insurance costs.
“We are looking into that possibility,” said Lehman.
Lehman noted that town officials have concluded to go in house with repair of the lift stations.
“We have concluded that we will save our residents thousands of dollars if we allow Marty and Justin (Shaffer) to run the program and sub-contract it,” observed Lehman. “This is much better for us than hiring one contractor to run the whole thing.”
In other matters, council:
- discussed certain repairs needed in alleys.
- discussed street repairs that need to be prioritized for this summer.
- discussed solutions with attorney Jeremy Brown concerning property and building improvements on several lots.

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