The Shelby County Commissioners approved a memorium of understanding (MOU) with Citizens Energy Group Monday morning that has potential to bring a sewer system to the northwest part of the county.

The proposed plan would have Citizens Energy Group building a new lift station at the corner of McGregor Road and Carol Road, near the Shelby/Marion County Line.

This lift station would connect to a station already located near Acton Road, said Citizens Energy VP of Water Operations Jeff Willman.

“Our initial service would be to extend dual-force mains from station 331, along Southeastern Ave, down along the I-74 corridor to Carol Road, and then further south to what we’re calling ‘Lift Station X,’ which is near the intersection of Carol Road and McGregor Road,” Willman said.

It would serve the tax increment financing (TIF) district, which includes the major developments in that area, but also has the potential to serve the entire northwest part of the county.

These two, 6-inch dual-force mains have the capacity to serve up to 3.75 million gallons of sewage a day, Willman said.

This connection avoids the need to build a new treatment plant because it allows Citizens Energy to use the resources already in place.

The total cost of this project is $6 million, but the county is only paying $2 million. This will be paid for with bond money the commissioners recently approved.

From a residential standpoint, after a $2,500 connectivity fee, the monthly rates would be an average of $57/month, based on the current rate structure. Willman said he does not see any rate adjustments in the next five years.

Willman said building this station would be Phase One of their operations, but the following phases are not set in stone yet because there is so much potential for growth.

Citizens Energy has two other existing lift stations in Marion County near the Shelby County line that offer the opportunity for expansion.“We’re very well situated to extend service not only to the TIF district, but north of the interstate and the entire service territory as well,” Willman said.

“We would be able to upgrade these lift stations and extend force mains to other areas of [the county] as well,” he said. “Both north and south of the interstate, we have potential to do interstate crossings – we have lots of flexibility.”

Willman added he thought this would enhance development on both sides of the county line.

Citizens Energy submitted a request to service this area to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission last week. If all goes as planned, they could service the area by July 2022.

Commissioner Kevin Nigh said he thought this would be good for the area.

“I think this is the best option for Shelby County development,” he said.
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