Danville, Junction City pursuing grant for sewage problem

October 12, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

The price tag to stop raw sewage from flowing into Balls Branch and then into the area's drinking water supply, Herrington Lake, is $4 million.

To pay that price, Danville and Junction City are applying for a Housing and Urban Development grant. A public hearing was held Monday, but only city officials showed up to talk about the application.

Gose Pike resident David Overstreet wasn't there, but in a telephone interview today he said that his neighborhood is against the project.

Danville's engineering consultants said that to fix the overflow of sewage a large line would have to be built along Balls Branch to eliminate the Toombs Curve lift station.


The project "affects the health and welfare of every resident in Junction City and Danville," said Danville Mayor John W.D. Bowling. "When it rains we have an overflow of raw sewage in Balls Branch and eventually in Herrington Lake."

EPA pressuring Junction City

Junction City has been under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state to fix the problem. The city has been forbidden to tap on any more customers to its system.

The situation is "holding us down ... until something is done we are sitting in a dead spot," said Junction City Mayor G.G. Harmon, explaining that the city can't grow until it has its sewerage problem fixed.

Together the cities are eligible for $2 million. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has already reserved about $500,000. If the city gets all of its federal funding, then Danville will have to fund the other $1.5 million.

Ordinarily the state only allows communities to apply for $1 million in HUD money at one time, but it has made an exception in this case, allowing Junction City and Danville to apply together.

Junction City is eligible for the grant because 57 percent of the community has been classified as low to moderate income. According to the census calculations for Boyle County, that means that a typical household of three has a total yearly income of less than $35,850. "The justification for this project is Junction City," said Don Hassall, director of infrastructure development for the Bluegrass Area Development District.

Gose Pike residents have questions

Overstreet said that the fact that the project is mainly for Danville is part of the problem Gose Pike residents have.

"Danville is building something for Junction City, and most of (the project) will lie outside the city limits of both Danville and Junction City," he said. "I don't know that Danville should be responsible for fixing Junction City's problems.

His other concerns are that it would spur unwanted development in the neighborhood.

He asked why the new line had to come down Balls Branch, and why it couldn't go down the major highways.

Stephen Caudill, project engineer with Howard K. Bell, said that the route along the creek was picked because it was a gravity sewerage line.

Caudill is a consultant for Danville.

Overstreet also questioned Danville's involvement when the problem is leaky lines inside Junction City. "If Junction's system was fixed, they wouldn't have this problem," Overstreet said. "It's like putting a bigger bucket under a leaky roof."

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