LCUB discusses FUD connection

A sewer line extension to Hickory Creek Commercial Park topped the Lenoir City Utility Board agenda Monday, Jan. 21.

The extension would tie into the First Utility District sewer line off Watt Road. The wastewater would be treated by FUD, but the line would remain in LCUB’s service territory.

“It’s not uncommon for utilities to be in these types of arrangements . . . we buy water from FUD and other utilities buy water from us, and the same with sewage. It’s a common practice; this is a good example [of it],” Shannon Littleton, LCUB assistant general manager, said.

Homeowners off Watt Road already are against the possible line; they fear that their property will be damaged by the sewer line installation. By Tennessee Department of Energy and Conservation regulations, there must be 10 feet separating the already existing water line and the proposed sewer line. Littleton said he believes this area would be within the right of way, but homeowners don’t want such a large encroachment.

Littleton said Doug Irwin, developer of the business park at Hickory Creek, has offered to pay for the main sewer line to be installed but is unable to find a price to which homeowners of Watt Road agree. Irwin requested LCUB and Lenoir City use its imminent domain authority to require a necessary sewer easement along Watt Road.

At the meeting, Greg Jones, manager of water and wastewater, stated the only current advantage would be gaining customers, but in a telephone interview with farragutpress, Littleton said that besides Irwin’s plea for a sewer line, a county employee also had notified Jones that septic tanks were failing across the street from the commercial park. Together, these reasons encouraged Jones and Littleton to pursue the sewer line extension.

Under a verbal agreement between Jones and First Utility District’s general manager Wayne Watson, FUD will treat the wastewater from the potential line for a fee from LCUB. “I don’t want to say it’s temporary, but it was just a solution that was agreed upon approximately a year ago,” Jones said.

LCUB cannot now treat the wastewater from this potential line because the biochemical oxygen demand is at capacity at its plant. “L-CUB went out for a $13.5 million state revolving fund loan through T-DEC to build a new waste water plant to treat this issue,” Littleton said.

Once the problem is corrected, LCUB could take over treatment of this area’s wastewater, but the extension line that has been discussed would not do the job. Later, LCUB would have to install separate gravity feeds to connect to its own wastewater treatment facilities.

As a whole, the Board wants imminent domain to be enforced only as a last resort. In fact, one board member expressed doubt as to advantages of a sewer line extension. Lenoir City mayor Matt Brookshire said, “I don’t see how it is a benefit to LCUB at this point.”

The Board decided that, for the time being, they would leave the discussion between Irwin and the homeowners along Watt Road. They also hoped to meet with the homeowners to address their concerns. Joel Garber, Farragut resident and member of the Board, said, “This should be a win-win situation for everyone.”

LCUB also approved a motion to award bids to several contractors for tree trimming and right-of-way clearing to be completed by March 2009. The contractors were Seelbach and Co, Inc., who will handle Cedar Bluff 234, Ebenezer 214 and Farragut 214; Phillips and Jordan, Inc., who will handle Eaton 214; Galloway Construction, LLC, who will handle Lovell 294, McFee 234 and Farragut 244; Wolf Tree Experts, who will handle Solway 254, McFee 214, Karns 224 and Lenoir City 244; and Asplundh Tree Expert, Inc., who will handle Lovell 304 and Karns 214.

“We have seen a lot of our outages decrease by the trimming policy [and] we’re not having near the controversy from the customers now that we’re doing it and staying right with the program,” Councilman Eddie Simp-son said.

This project will cost $339,826.63. According to Littleton, this is the first time the whole circuit has been trimmed in a cycle.

LCUB also:

• Authorized the sewer department to receive bids for a TDEC-required videotaping and sewer-cleaning project.

• Approved Mayse Construc-tion Company for the Town Creek Interceptor project. Mayse Construction was the lowest bidder for the project, bidding $1,530,145.90.

• Awarded bid to Substation Enterprises for the Westland Drive Steel Package for a new electrical substation on Westland Drive for $164,131.

• Appointed Pat Beasley as Board secretary.