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City lays out sewer expansion plans
Oct 18, 2006 12:00 am
A major sewer expansion in the original Southfork and Horn Springs subdivisions is set to begin by the end of this year.
City officials will host a town meeting at Maple Hill Church of Christ this Thursday at 6 p.m. to let residents know what they can expect from the project, which could last as long as a year and a half.
The cost of the project is about $3.5 million, funded through a loan program with the state. Once completed for a fee of $1,500 homeowners can tap into the sewer, although Baines said the homeowner would have to hire their own plumber to install the line.
In fact, homeowners in the Southfork and Horn Springs subdivision will be charged a minimum sewer fee regardless of whether they tap on.
"You get a minimum sewer bill whether you tie on or not," Baines explained. "If you borrow money from the state you've got to guarantee you can pay it back."
These subdivisions, just north and south of Highway 70, were built before the city annexed the area, and installing sewer lines is a step towards completing a plan of services, Public Works Commissioner Jeff Baines said.
"They were developed in the county years ago on septic systems," Baines said. "As the city grew out they were annexed, and when you annex these kind of subdividions you have to have a plan of services and eventually you have to offer sewer. … You'll go out there today and see some of those (septic systems) are failing."
Baines said installing sewer can cause more of a disruption than installing water or gas lines, as the trenches have to be dug much deeper.
While the city won't be using dynamite to blast any holes, the resulting methods can leave the area somewhat dusty, Baines said.
"There will be some inconveniences with roads in disrepair some of the time … (but) we try to make this as painless as possible," he said.
Thursday's meeting is basically to let area residents know what they can expect, Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath said.
"The meeting is just to welcome everybody and see face to face the folks who will be involved in the project," Warmath said, "… and if they have concerns either now or throughout the whole construction process they'll know who to contact."
The process will involve construction on some yards and roads, and some areas may be disturbed for as much as five months, Baines said.
"When it's over and done with and everything gets cleaned up … in a season or two you don't typically know we were there," Baines said.
The Public Works commissioner said this project is likely the last large sewer project the city will have to pay for for quite some time.
"This is just simply where there was already a subdivision," Baines said. "… Developers pay 100 percent of the cost to extend sewer into and through that property."
As a former owner of a septic system, Warmath said the end result will be worth the temporary inconvenience.
"A lot of these individuals are going to get a lot of relief," Warmath said. "It won't be overnight, but it will be what they're looking for. You take for granted something as simple as sewer."
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.