Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges stands in front of the city's wastewater treatment plant in this submitted photo. The city plans to renovate and expand its capacity.
Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges stands in front of the city's wastewater treatment plant in this submitted photo. The city plans to renovate and expand its capacity.
CLARK COUNTY — The River Ridge Development Authority is partnering with local communities to pursue a regional grant that would support improvements to local wastewater treatment plants.

The RRDA approved resolutions Friday at a special meeting to support both the City of Charlestown and City of Jeffersonville in their pursuit of a Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant from the state.

Charlestown is planning major renovations to its wastewater treatment facility, and the RRDA authorized River Ridge to execute a memorandum of understanding and submit a READI grant application in partnership with the city.

Jeffersonville plans to expand its North Water Reclamation Facility located in River Ridge Commerce Center. To support that effort, the RRDA approved a resolution for River Ridge to provide a letter of support for the city’s grant application.

The communities will be submitting applications to Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) by Tuesday, July 20.

The local RDA will combine the individual submissions from communities and nonprofits into a regional development plan that will be submitted to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Each region could receive up to $50 million based on the regional plan.

Our Southern Indiana RDA is made up of five counties in Southern Indiana: Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott and Washington.

River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy said the READI grant offers significant funding for infrastructure and other public improvements for the region.

“The application has the ability to benefit the overall ability and region because of the jobs we create at River Ridge,” he said. “We have people who commute from at least probably a 50-mile radius to come into Southern Indiana to go to work, so the whole region benefits from the jobs we create.

“That’s what the purpose of the READI grant is, to stimulate quality of life, jobs and opportunities within the region, so we’re pretty excited about the opportunity.”

Acy notes that River Ridge has “grown tremendously” since Jeffersonville’s wastewater plant was built more than 10 years ago.

“Jeffersonville has to expand their plant because we still have a lot of activity and more demand for wastewater services inside here, plus Jeffersonville is growing outside River Ridge, so it has to be expanded,” he said.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said he is “very appreciative” to the RRDA for their show of support.

Moore emphasized the residential growth the city is facing, saying he has been looking for ways to increase sewer capacity “without any expense to the residents of Jeffersonville.”

“The city has grown incredibly in the last 10 years, and if we continue to grow, we need to meet all of our needs with infrastructure — and that includes sewer,” he said.

Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges, who is also a board member with the RRDA, said the regional partnership with River Ridge will help make an “enticing package” for the grant application.

“The chances of Charlestown receiving the grant will be enhanced with the parties both entering into this memorandum of understanding, showing the unity of purpose,” she said.

Hodges said Charlestown’s wastewater treatment plant is “in need of some rehab.”

“Our capacity is fine right now — we still have about a million gallons a day capacity,” she said. “The problem is as River Ridge continues to develop on that north end, we’re going to eat up a large part of that capacity pretty quickly, and so we want to make sure we can do our part to meet the needs of River Ridge Commerce Center in allowing those developments to come in.”
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