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Huntland pulling reins on sewer project

Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

The Huntland Board of Mayor and Aldermen has agreed to wait another year before applying for a state loan that would allow the town to implement sewer.

In August, the board was notified that it’d been placed on a priority list of applicants that would be approved for funding through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. So, the board decided to begin the process of applying for the $2.5 million state-backed, low interest loan to establish a sewer system in hopes of moving away from septic tanks and promoting industrial growth in the town.

However, at Monday night’s board meeting City engineer Jimmy Highers stated it’d be best for the town to take its time acquiring all the necessary information instead of trying to rush through the application process.

“After the public hearing held earlier this month and per the conversations we’ve had with South Central Tennessee Development District, I think it’s in the best interest of the town not to submit the application at this time,” he said.

According to Highers, the town still needs to complete a septic survey, as well as an income survey of all residents before applying for the grant monies.

It was mentioned that Mayor Patrick Matthews would be singing a letter to send to the state requesting septic surveys be performed.

Highers stated that members of South Central Development would be visiting Huntland in the next few weeks to identify houses that are having issues with septic tanks. He noted this would likely not be too difficult.

The city engineer also explained that he, Public Works Supervisor Dolton Steele and Mayor Patrick Matthews would soon be working together with the Development District to determine how the city would finance the sewer project.

“And once we get some of these preliminaries out of the way, we can start looking at what we really need in way of land,” Highers said.

Mayor Matthews later commented that he felt good about the board’s decision to take time to complete everything necessary to have a solid application to submit to the state.

“This will definitely give us a start in the right direction,” he said.

Highers further added the temporary delay would give the board more of an opportunity to speak with the public about the sewer project and how it could benefit them.

“This will allow us even more time to work with the public and bring them in to explain the project to them because we will have to have their participation,” he said. “We want it to be a successful project and make sure that it’s affordable for the citizens.”

The Huntland Board meets at 7 p.m. every fourth Monday of the month at the Huntland Community Center.