Culver Council Voices Support for Creation of East Shore Conservancy District

The Culver Town Council is voicing its support for the creation of an East Shore Conservancy District, but members aren’t quite ready to sign a memorandum of understanding. The East Shore Corporation wants to connect to Culver’s wastewater system, due to the failure of its wetland disbursement system.

Last week, the town council voted three-to-one to have Town Manager Jonathan Leist draft a letter saying that the town is in favor of the creation of the East Shore Conservancy District and is willing to enter into negotiations. Leist will present the letter during a Department of Natural Resources Commission hearing next Tuesday.

Council members previously planned to voice their support through a memorandum of understanding with the East Shore Corporation. It would have said that the two entities plan to negotiate a more complete agreement similar to the town’s existing agreement with the Southwest Conservancy District.

But Town Attorney Jim Clevenger said there was some concern about how similar the two agreements would be expected to be. “As we are thinking more through that, there are some differences between the conservancy districts that might cause us to tweak, a bit, the agreement,” Clevenger explained.

One thing that still has to be determined is how much Culver would charge an East Shore Conservancy District for wastewater treatment. A committee of town officials is currently working with Jeff Rowe from accounting firm Baker Tilly to figure that out.

Clevenger explained that the Southwest Conservancy District is essentially charged a wholesale rate since it has its own collection system. On the other hand, East Shore would have to use the town’s system for part of the way, to connect to the plant. “They’re not going to be solely responsible for maintaining that portion of the system,” Clevenger said. “So among the considerations that we have to make on all of this is just how do you want to treat it and treat some of these expenses.”

Council Member Joel Samuelson asked if the East Shore Conservancy District would be able to hold the sewage during peak usage, to lessen the impact on the town’s sewer line. “A weird, simultaneous flush situation is basically what I’m trying to say,” Samuelson explained. “Is it going to be staged in, or if they all flush at five o’clock, it’s all coming through at five o’clock?”

Leist and Clevenger said that the sewage would be sent through immediately, but the conservancy district would be charged a large penalty fee if it would send more than a certain amount in a specific period of time. “As long as they stay under the cap, they can all flush at five o’clock,” Clevenger added.

Meanwhile, the East Shore Corporation says it continues to make progress. Representatives told council members that construction drawings are essentially done, financial considerations are being put together, and they’ve applied for a construction permit with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Their goal is to have the new connection in service by the middle of May.