MUNCIE, INDIANA — Muncie Sanitary District recently announced two new relocation projects for some of its offices and departments. These projects are expected to improve operational efficiencies and save on energy and transportation costs.
The first project would relocate the District’s Sanitation Department to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The department is currently located in a 90-year-old building on Centennial Avenue; the structure is located in the 100-year flood plain, is not equipped to properly ventilate exhaust from compressed natural gas trucks, and is in need of excessive repairs, including a new roof.
“Moving our Sanitation Department to a new facility is more cost effective than repairing the current building,” said Bill Smith, president of MSD’s Board of Sanitary Commissioners. “So not only will this relocation improve our operations, but it will also save us and the taxpayers money.”
The new building on Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard would cost approximately $15 million, but MSD said it will not be increasing taxes to pay for the project.
Instead, the project is funded through substantial savings the District achieved when converting all MSD-owned vehicles to compressed natural gas. Converting to compressed natural gas has, on average, saved MSD around $1.50 per gallon since 2014. MSD has also brought in additional revenue by selling compressed natural gas to trucking firms, police departments and other organizations.
“Our switch to compressed natural gas not only reduced our emissions, but also reduced tax increases for our customers,” Smith said. “Savings and revenue from the switch have enabled us to make these necessary improvements that enhance our service—all without raising taxes.”
The second project MSD announced is the renovation of an existing building on Jackson Street to house its engineering department, sewer utility billing department, IT and executive offices. Currently, these offices are scattered throughout the city; consolidating them into one space would save the District on energy and transportation costs, as well as improve efficiency.
MSD’s billing department is currently located in City Hall. The District said it has received several complaints from customers about difficulty parking and a lack of ADA- compliance. The new building will feature ample parking, a drive-through window for bill paying and ADA-compliant entrances.
“This relocation project accomplishes several things at once: It streamlines our internal operations, it allows City Hall to expand its offices, and it provides a more customer- friendly experience,” Smith said.
The Jackson Street building will cost approximately $1 million, which is approximately equivalent to just $0.23 per month per customer.