Lenoir City Utilities Board addresses sewage concerns
Kim Johnson - Farrugut Press Thu, Nov, 8, 2007

Lenoir City Utilities Board currently has no plans to pump access sewage waste, created by construction of a proposed 204-acre development off Highway 321 in Lenoir City, into pipelines owned by First Utility District.

Fred Nelson, LCUB general manager, said there was a meeting between LCUB and FUD, which he personnaly did not attend.

“No one has told me that that is what was discussed in that meeting. As far as I know we are not going to be doing that,” he said.

“We are going to be installing a 30-inch line from what we call old Highway 95 over to Highway 321 across the Overholt property in order to carry [increased sewage].

“The city has agreed on a [Tax Increment Financing] and is asking the county to T-I-F it too. If the county T-I-F’s it, that will help with the construction because it is about a $3 million project.”

Monday, Oct. 8, the Lenoir City Council voted to approve the $20 million TIF to help fund the infrastructure needed for the Town Center development.

“This is a new program, it is really good for cities, I know the city of Knoxville has [used TIF] for several projects,” Nelson said.

TIF is legislation that allows a city to lock in the tax value of a property before improvements are made. Any tax revenue over and above the original value that is generated after development of the property is used to pay off the debt. TIF funds are designated solely for the use of infrastructure.

Nelson said the plan is to use the money to build the new pipeline that should be able to handle the waste from the entire development.

“We will handle the sewage. Right now we can’t. ... Nothing has been tied on out there, but before they are finished out there we will have a new line,” he added.

LCUB may have only five years to get the new pipeline ready for use.

“[Town Creek] was supposed to be a 10-year project, but now they say they are going to have it completed in five years,” Nelson said.

FUD General Manager Wayne Watson confirmed that there are no plans for FUD to take on the additional sewage.

“We have a few customers right at the county line at Eaton’s Crossroads and Kingston Pike, but that is a very few customers. There are no plans to bring any large amounts of sewer out of Lenoir city to [FUD].”

Watson said the construction going on at the FUD plant is in no way connected to development in Lenoir City.

“We are expanding the plant, we are moving a lot of dirt, but that is totally for Knox County. The plant is going from a capacity of 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons per day.”

Watson added that construction has just begun and the project is slated to be finished in 2009.