VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The Vincennes City Council discussed a $6.1 million proposal for a number of upgrades to its sewage system. 

The largest amount– about $3 million– will go towards renovations at a facility that serves about 75% of customers, according to the general manager of Vincennes Water Utilities Kirk Bouchie. 

“The total bond issue that we have requested the council to approve is 6.1 million dollars. About half of that issue, roughly three million dollars, would go towards some improvements at our Watson Avenue sanitary life station,” he said. 

Bouchie said much of the work includes replacing aging equipment so things run smoother– but Tim Salters, the city council president, knows the top question residents will have. 

“The first thing people will ask, what’s this going to do to my water rate? Nothing. Nothing at all,” he said. “Our water department, our sewage department, our wastewater, and I want to make sure you throw all of those in there because that’s what falls under the utilities, they are very great at making sure they spend every dollar, every tax dollar, appropriately.”

Bouchie said they try to be proactive about requests like this– and he referenced a situation from around 20 years ago when the city had to take on millions in debt– money it’s still paying off to this day. 

“Many years ago, our wastewater facilities were allowed to denigrate to a level where there’s a big need all at once to replace a lot of things, and we borrowed 20-30 million at that time,” he said. 

The plan includes about $500,000 to go towards expanding service in the area– an initiative that also received money from the state’s READI program, and something Bouchie hopes will go a long way in bringing more people to the community.

“That will help to provide some areas with sanitary sewers hopefully to encourage some development and affordable housing,” he said. 

The council unanimously passed the first reading of the request Monday. The second and third readings will take place in October– and Salters said he believes it should pass next month.