Hearing set on Liberty sewer line

September 25, 2003|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - The public will get a chance Monday to comment on a proposed 12-mile sewer line to accommodate Tarter Gate Co. in Dunnville, which is planning a major expansion.

The city will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. at City Hall on a Community Development Block Grant application to extend the sewer line.

The City Council approved a request earlier from Tarter Gate to apply for the funds. The company is installing an industrial wastewater treatment plant to allow its discharge to meet federal regulations and is currently hauling the waste to the city's sewer treatment plant.

The council agreed to apply for $1.2 million in grants and loans to build the sewer line from the southern city limits to the Tarter operation. The line could run along U.S. 127 South, the shorter route, or along Green River. It would carry Tarter's discharge to the city treatment plant.


Tarter, which plans to increase its workforce by more than 100 new jobs, will repay loans needed to help finance the line.

The City Council turned down a similar proposal a couple of years ago to extend sewer service to the top of Walnut Hill, where the Galilean Home Ministries planned to build a restaurant, bed and breakfast, and various tourist facilities.

After the Dunnville project was announced, a local restaurant owner questioned why the Tarter project is being considered when the one by Galilean Home owners Sandy and Jerry Tucker was turned down. The Tuckers wanted the line extended about two miles south of town and had assured the city that a federal grant could have been obtained to pay for the construction.

There was no response from the two council members who were serving at the time.

Councilmen Larry Bowner and Brad Vaughn, who are in their first term, later said they are for the Tarter project as long as the city is not responsible for any extra costs.

"We need to take care of the people in the city limits first," said Bowmer. He also favors the hookups for residents and businesses along U.S. 127 South to Dunnville.

"I'm for it as long as the Tarters know they're responsible of any extra costs incurred," said Vaughn.

After the Walnut Hill proposal was turned down, the Tuckers moved the Bread of Life Cafe from downtown to a location about four miles south of town. They have their wastewater trucked to the city's sewer treatment system.

Sandy Tucker wonders what the difference in the proposal is. Both projects are for economic development and would have provided more jobs, she said.

"This is the wildest thing I've ever heard of," said Tucker, when asked about her thoughts on the Dunnville project.

"Mayor (Steve) Sweeney said the Dunnville project would be for economic development," said Tucker. "What's the difference?" she asked. "Economic development is economic development. The city apparently thought we might not stay long, but if we moved, we could not take it with us."

She thinks the move by the city earlier may have been "political"; however, she will gladly hook on to the sewer line to save hauling expenses.

"We tried to get it across to the city that what we planned was for economic development," she said.

Since the Bread of Life restaurant moved from downtown to the country two years ago, Tucker said it has paid out $150,000 to haul sewage to the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"We'd be happy to hook on to it (the system)," she said.

Tucker understands why some residents in the city limits who are not getting sewer services are upset, and she is for any improvements that can be made in the community.

"I hope Tarter gets the sewer service; it will help us," she said. "I don't understand why the city was against (the Bread of Life project)," she said. "I see it as a personal vendetta."

Tucker said the city did not want to help her business.

"We're happy where we are now, and now hope we can get sewer service. The business is improving. We serve 10,000 people a month. They come from a 100-mile radius."

Information concerning the CDBG program is available for inspection at City Hall.

Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to Mayor Steve Sweeney at City Hall, P.O. Box 127, Liberty 42539 until the close of business Oct. 7.

Brenda S. Edwards can be reached at

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