The County Commissioners sought to create a new utility district in their county to address sewer and water utilities in the rural, unincorporated areas of the County. Walden led the financial, technical and regulatory aspects of the public outreach and petition process (to obtain an initial charter). Walden prepared a Financial Feasibility Study, Preliminary Engineering Reports, Legal Petition, and conducted several public meetings in neighborhoods with failed and failing septic systems that were candidates for inclusion in the District.
The Financial Feasibility Study included construction costs for comparable infrastructure, grant, loan, partnering and other financial performance of Allen Country Regional Water and Sewer District, Allen RWSD budgeted and actual performance, Operations Budget for City of Fort Wayne Division of Utilities, and examination reports of the State Board of Accounts for several cities and towns. The study is based on 300 residential sanitary sewer customers although the results were scaled on an ERU basis from 150 to 1,000 ERUs. The study found that the regionalization was feasible. The Preliminary Engineering Reports included information from the Financial Feasibility Study as well as FIS information for aerial base mapping, parcel information, road right-of-way and topographic data, and planning, engineering, and infrastructure information for Aqua Indiana. Walden later served as the District’s first District Engineer as the Board of Trustees was recruited, trained and placed in service. Public meetings would include a technical presentation along with time for questions and feedback along with media information and web-based FAQs.
This Walden project was featured at the 2018 ASCE Annual Meeting (Indiana) with the presentation titled “Interlocal Agreements, PPPs, Consolidations and other Regionalization Trends in Water and Wastewater Utility Agencies – Impacts and Considerations for Engineers”.