By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Williamsburg City Council members received a finalized version of the city’s Comprehensive Plan during Monday’s regular meeting.
Mayor Roddy Harrison said this plan has yet to be approved by the city council.
The Comprehensive Plan “determines community goals and aspirations in terms of community development and provides a broad vision for the future growth of the community,” states the plan.
The plan was compiled by S & H Consulting Company from Cold Springs, Ky.
The Williamsburg Planning Commission held meetings and hearings concerning development of this plan. Once the plan becomes official and approved by the city council, then council members must use this to guide them in their decision-making process. It is a 20-year growth guide for Williamsburg and the city council. A final vote is expected in January, according to Harrison.
Some highlights of the plan concern the ongoing water and sewer issues which face the city.
According to the plan, during the Phase I Plan of the Water Treatment Facility, approximately 2,000 linear feet of new 14-inch line was installed to transport raw water from the Cumberland River to the current treatment plant. The capacity of that plant could be three million gallons daily, however, it is only reaching a capacity of two million gallons daily.
In order to reach the maximum potential, completion of the Phase II Plan would be required. That includes two filters, new chemical feeders, chemical storage buildings, a new flash mixer and flow controllers for the sediment basins.
Recommendations for completion also include looking for a better way to remove sand and mud out of the new intake at the river, switch from chlorine gas to bleach for safety, and seek a more efficient way to handle slug removal.
The city council also hopes to continue working on the ongoing sewer projects. Many improvements have been made since the Williamsburg Wastewater Plant went on line in 2003. According to the plan, additional accommodations for growth were put into place to assure future growth could be handled.
Collection lines were extended to the Three Point and Goldbug area which includes Whitley County High School, Whitley County Elementary School and continues to the U.S. Federal Consular Center to the Ballard Ford area near I-75.
The city completed GPS mapping and smoke testing the full wastewater collection system, noting system problems which will be addressed. Old lines need upgraded and replaced throughout the system.
Future projects include developing the industrial park and a major upgrade of the Briar Creek Lift Station.
Other plan highlights concern annexation. “The present corporate city limits lacks a quantity of undeveloped land to meet projected needs,” the plan states. “Specifically there is limited land available within the city limits for future development.
“We are ‘land-locked.’”
The southwestern area, according to the plan, is a favorable commercial development area because of the new Exit 11 off I-75.
“To the west would be a very good location for residential development due to the completion of Highway 92 west across the mountain,” it states.
Also recommended by the plan concerns the area to the north near the newly completed Williamsburg/Whitley County Airport. “This area has the advantage of highway transportation facilities and would be in a compatible land use area,” states the plan.
A total of 5,587 acres of various property could be reviewed for further annexation. These properties include Brush Arbor, Beck’s Creek, Highway 92 West, Highway 92 West Industrial, Croley Bend, Lee Bryant, Highway 25W North, Goldbug, Buc Road, Savoy, Emlyn, Happy Hollow and Hurricane Hollow.
This plan has not been approved by the city council.
In other council business:
After a quorum was finally established, the council unanimously voted to go into executive session to discuss property issues. Two council members, Chet Riley and Laurel West, were unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Council member Troy Sharp motioned for the executive session, and it was seconded by Council Member Richard Foley.
Once returning to open session approximately 30 minutes later, Harrison congratulated council members for retaining their seats in the Nov. 6 election.
He also said the new fire truck had been delivered.
The council approved purchasing the new truck during the June 18 regular meeting.
The state requires three Class A pumpers which hold a minimum of 1,000 gallons of water. Fire Chief James Privett said in June, “It is basically one of the best trucks you can get on the market.”
Privett explained then that the state put one of the department’s trucks out of service due to age.
The new truck is a 2013 Kenworth with a $179,000 price tag and will be financed for five years. “It is really, really nice,” Harrison said. “It is bigger, taller and a little longer. (You’ll) be tickled with it.”