Lincoln trying to alleviate sewage problem

October 20, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Using a state-acclaimed plan of attack, Lincoln Fiscal Court is trying to stem the tide of raw sewage threatening to swamp Hustonville and Moreland. A long-discussed sewer line project, now steadily progressing from drawing board to action, would build new waste lines and connect them to Danville's system.

The new lines would extend across U.S. 127 and stop at Toomb's Curve, alleviating a rash of overflowing septic tanks in the area, said Lincoln County Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert.

"When you put 40 houses to 10 acres, there ain't no way it will work. When it rains, you can smell the raw sewage," Gilbert said Tuesday.

Danville has yet to start the installation of a trunk line near Junction City with which Lincoln County hopes to connect. Danville has applied for the project grants such as a Community Development Block Grant, but they have not yet been received. Danville is currently figuring how much sewage should be expected and what the rate will be for service, said City Manager Darrell Blenniss.


Jayne M. Combs of Bluegrass Area Development District said the sewage lines mean more to the county than just safe sewage treatment.

"This is the next step to positive development in Lincoln County. It will better the health and welfare of residents. It will attract more industry into the county, thus more jobs, thus creating a wider economic base for the county," said Combs, chief of the Grants-In-Aid division of BGADD. "It was just plain good business, good planning, and good for the county."

The project also has drawn acclaim from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, which Combs said called the plans very innovative and is now using as a model for the rest of the state.

Initial planning for the project actually started last year, said Gilbert, and brought to the table several mayors and officials. "This is the first time we've sat down with separate mayors and tried to bring the county together."

Working with another county wasn't that difficult, said Blenniss. "So far it's been great. Even though we're in different counties, we run in the same circles (and development district). We understand what they are dealing with, and they understand what we are dealing with."

In a letter given to Lincoln magistrates, the Frankfort engineering firm HMB said it expects the sewage line project to be complete by December 2007.

Service will be extended to 350

The new service will be extended to 350 customers and manage about 60,000 gallons of raw sewage a day. However, Danville is being asked to examine its capacity to treat up to 100,000 gallons of raw sewage daily.

"We have plenty of capacity at our sewage treatment plant to handle any of the sewage flow that could result from this venture," Blenniss said.

Lincoln magistrates support the project and said it will substantially benefit property owners. When connected to a city sewer system, property values increase, lot sizes can be smaller without a septic tank, and leaking sewage won't bubble above ground in wet weather.

"It's great," said Magistrate Bill Dyehouse. "I can't wait for it to come to Crab Orchard," which is next on the list for a sewage project.

The cost of the Danville-Hustonville project has yet to be determined, though Combs is optimistic that grants for the project are possible from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, USDA Rural Development funds and HUD Community Development Block grants.

Gilbert said the county is currently trying to work out its sewage plan with Danville before magistrates seek a source of funding, but they are excited at the project's prospects. "We are," Gilbert said, "and those people over there should be, too."

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