The color of bypass/Gose Pike sewage proposal is green

October 28, 2003

Dear Editor:

Sunday's article regarding the proposed sewer for the southern bypass/Gose Pike area of Boyle County didn't adequately elucidate all the dynamic issues involved with this potential project. It was commendable, however, that for the first time the primary motivation for this proposal was revealed. The mayor and the city commissioners openly admitted that this was a project simply to sponsor further growth and commercial development. Judge-Executive Tony Wilder recently suggested in a meeting with our Gose Pike Neighborhood Association that it was a construction proposal, hopefully funded by grants, out of concern for the health of people in Junction City who are continually being exposed to potentially harmful raw sewage. He was angered when I suggested that the Danville hierarchy was using him and this excuse for this enterprise, that otherwise would unlikely meet public muster. Now, the true nature and purpose of this project is again revealed, to augment and subsidize the private developmental matters of a very few local entrepreneurs. The color of this sewage adventure is meant to be green.


I spent almost 20 minutes on the phone discussing all the sundry issues with an Advocate reporter for which I and without exception my entire neighborhood are against this project and was simply quoted in Sunday's article that "it would tear up our trees." Certainly, the disruption and destruction of our lands and properties and the disruption of our quiet rural lives (so close to town!) is of due consideration. However, for a city to take over lands far outside it's own boundaries to provide services to a few obviously special contractors and possibly to another municipality entirely, at taxpayers' expense, seems particularly ludicrous at best. The further growth of Danville into an area that is already consolidated and crowded to the point of "Hazardous Highways Ahead!" dimensions is also of serious concern. Essentially, all of the past five years' new commercial undertakings and zone changes have occurred in this proximal area. Yet, P and Z will tell you that they and our new comprehensive plan (which is the exact plan from six years ago, simply re-adopted without public discussion or edit) discourages "block development." My 7-year-old could take a Sim City computer game and design a safer and more effective traffic flow pattern than what exists at the old Danville Manor and at the newer Wal-Mart, Lowe's and Kroger developments.

What Mayor Bowling and the city commissioners don't seem to grasp is that the vast majority of people who live in Danville and the Danville proximal areas of Boyle County live here, because it's a small town. We don't necessarily want more growth, more crimes, and more traffic congestion, accidents and deaths that necessarily come with larger cities. We can drive the 40 minutes to Lexington for that. Danville should "grow" by simply maximizing and utilizing what's great about this community. Recruit and supplement clients who are willing to move into the empty stores, such as Winn-Dixie and Slone's, around town. Work with and not compete against people like the Davises, who have land already appropriately zoned and served by available utilities paid for with their private money. Facilitate the private investors who want to turn a gutted old Lowe's building (the second of three no less) into a convention center. Allow a local business to hold up a second sign advertising a cheaper pizza.

The Overstreet family lived in this community before this state was even named Kentucky. As a child I went to Junction Elementary and played in "The Swamp" just west of the gym that was a lagoon of raw sewage. All the lands near Junction are low-lying wetlands that hold stagnant water. The sewer pipes are primarily antiquated, dilapidated cast iron sieves that fill with runoff from the rain and saturated grounds. Some of the manholes and pumping stations turn "Old Faithful" after every rain. As a physician privy to all the local and state epidemiological statistics, I know of no rise in dysentery-type diseases locally. We should not invent one, nor should we wait on one.

Junction, apply for all the grants that you are surely eligible for and fix your leaky system. Don't just hook it to a bigger outflow pipe, which is exactly what is proposed. Danville can and should do the same, especially with their runoff problems that have largely been historically ignored.

Sewage effluent is brown, not green, but when the local politicians stir in it, it stinks just the same!

David Overstreet

Boyle County

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