TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

March 1, 2012

Easements, money big holdup for service to Tattersall sewer project

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff writer

The Corbin City Utilities Commission’s plans to bring sewer service to Tattersall Trails Estates is a dead horse for now.

Unable to get the necessary easements from landowners to do the work, and a dwindling supply of cash to pay for it, the Commission cancelled the $4 million sanitary sewer extension project after working on it for five years.

“Most of the people who live there want it, and we had a lot of easements signed. But there’s still a few who don’t want it. The problem’s been getting two easements. The Tattersall Association easement, and the easement to buy the property for the pump station. That’s the holdup,” said CUC General Manager Ron Herd.

The subdivision, located outside of Corbin off Fifth Street Road, has about 300 homes, and according to Herd, are on septic tanks.

“I thought it was a good project. The idea was to put sewer lines in the subdivision, to replace the septic tanks. Some of the tanks have failed. We’ve had a couple of meetings on the project. The Whitley County Health Department wrote me a letter years ago, saying the area needed sewer service,” Herd said during an interview with the Times-Tribune.

To put a pump station to serve the subdivision, an easement would be needed to build the station. Herd noted that failed, due to some landowners near Black Diamond Road refusing to sell the easement to the utilities commission.

“Had we gotten the easement for the pump station, we could do some of the project,” Herd commented.

In addition, Tattersall Estates, Inc. — the subdivision’s homeowner’s association — refused to provide easements to extend lines across the property near the riding trails and the swimming pool.

Herd said the pool had been shut down because of a new safety law passed that pertained to public pools, adding, “It was a new safety requirement for repairing, which pretty much would mean we’d have to dig out the pool.”

Herd also mentioned environmental concerns in the area, saying, “Where the sewers are breaking out into the drains, it’s running off into Canoe Creek and eventually into Laurel Lake.”

The use of “eminent domain” for the city, county or state to take condemnation action was discussed. “I asked the board if they wanted to go with condemnation, and they said they didn’t want to do that,” Herd said.

The Corbin Utilities Commission board were informed of the decision in a report Herd made during their meeting on Feb. 14.

Another problem with the project has been money.

Years earlier, the CUC constructed the sanitary sewer extension on Fifth Street Road up to Corbin Primary School, using a $867,300 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2006, a $700,000 state grant was also used for the project. But a $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission fell through. Herd said all that was left for the project is a $300,000 state grant, which the CUC received in 2009.

“If we could get more money later, we can do this project later. But not at this time,” Herd said.

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