HYMERA, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Hymera’s water tower was built in the 1940s and sits near Jackson Street at 80-plus years old, officials say it’s time for an upgrade.
Facility Manager, Nick Cullison said the project is in its early stages, but the goal is to tear down the current water tower and build a new one on East Street.
The project is anticipated to cost around $1.2 million. The town is looking into several grants to take care of most of the cost, the remaining balance will be paid off on consumers’ utility bills.
“We’re looking into several grants and options the town has, SRF and OCRA. The first grant we looked at we passed on because it wasn’t enough money. We want the best for our consumers and everybody on the water system,” Cullison said. “We didn’t like the increased rates we had with the first grant.”
Improving the water tower has been an on-and-off project for Hymera since 2007. Over the last few years, upgrades have been made, but the city is at a point where it makes more financial sense to build than to repair.
“It’s very important for us to keep and maintain. Our town grows, and our water supply grows. We recently started growing again. We need more capacity than what we have now,” He added.
Current infrastructure holds about 75,000 gallons, however, with lines extending past city limits and nearby by communities also using Hymera water, more capacity is needed.
Officials will decide between buying a 100 or 125-thousand-gallon tank. The state of Indiana also recommends that towers be able to hold a day’s supply of water if needed.
In front of the water is Hymera’s American Legion and Commander, John Woodruff, said he would pay a higher utility bill for these improvements.
“I think it’s still good water, but a new water tower is needed. I live little ways outside of Hymera and am on well water, but I’d prefer to be on this [town] water,” Woodruff said.
Water pressure and quality haven’t been issues, but officials want to avoid disasters that have hit other cities in the United States.
“It’s a long-term struggle you don’t want to put your community through. It’s easier to stay in compliance and everybody has safer drinking water. We just don’t want to go back with our utilities,” Cullison added.
A start or finish date for construction is not known, but ideally Cullison said within the next three years.