Huntington outsources sewage treatment

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – The Board of Public Works approved outsourcing operations and maintenance of Huntington’s sewage treatment facility Monday.  Mayor Brooks Fetters says the move will save $400,000 in payroll costs over the next five years.  But the future for about a dozen water pollution control employees remains uncertain.

Fleis & Vanderbrink Engineering officially took over operations at the sewage treatment facility Monday, according to Fetters. Its website says the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company has an office in Fort Wayne.

Fetters tells NewsChannel 15 Fleis & Vanderbrink is interested in interviewing anyone interested in applying.  But the mayor was unsure how many people will the sewage treatment facility will be able to keep their jobs.

The move is expected to drive costs at the facility down through better efficiency.

According to Fetters, outsourcing the sewage treatment facility has no correlation with the the recent boil water advisory issued in Huntington.  On May 15, a well tested positive for E. coli, which means the water may have been contaminated by human or animal waste.  The boil water advisory was issued May 19 and was lifted a couple days later.  But controversy surrounded the contamination, as many in the community said the city never notified them of the health risk.

Fetters said the contamination dealt with drinking water from the water plant.  The outsourcing deals with the sewage treatment facility.

NewsChannel 15 is currently gathering more information on the outsourcing and will update this story as soon as possible.

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