Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 10, 2013

Corps: City still in violation

Council to discuss soccer field wetland issue tonight

By Jim Young
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — The Crossville City Council meets for its regular September meeting tonight and action could come on several items council members have been discussing for the last several meetings.

The regular council meeting starts at 6 p.m. The council will also meet as the audit committee at at 5:15 p.m. and hold a public hearing on the annexation of 5.43 acres on Dayton Spur Road at 5:45 p.m.

The city of Crossville has received another notice of the violation concerning the soccer fields from the Army Corps of Engineers and the matter is expected to come up on the regular agenda tonight. Captioned as “2nd Notice of Unauthorized Activities,” the notice was brought up at the end of the monthly council work session last week. The council asked news media and others to leave and the meeting went into a closed session to hold a conference call with the attorney the city has hired in the matter.

The notice says that a second follow up inspection shows that five acres of wetlands was impacted by the work on the soccer fields and that the city and J. Hicks Excavation are jointly responsible. The letter requires a response in 15 days and the item is set for tonight’s agenda. The letter, dated Aug. 23 was postmarked Aug. 28 and was not received by the city until Aug. 30.

Items on the regular agenda include a proposal by Councilman Pete Souza to put two city-owned lots on Waterview Dr. up for sale. The lots were originally purchased as a possible location for a new fire station but those plans changed. The council approved putting the lots up for sale by sealed by in March. The sale would need to be publicly advertised and bids approved by the council.

Several matters concerning the city's sewer operation are expected to be discussed during the meeting, including a proposal by Councilman Jesse Kerley with very little information available. On the agenda the item is listed as “discussion and possible action on a proposal by Councilman Kerley regarding the administration and operation of the city's wastewater treatment/collection system.”

Souza brought several matters up during last week's work session including his proposal to change how the city distributes the sewage sludge or biosolids left over after wastewater is treated. The material can be used as an agricultural fertilizer. Currently, only two individuals are receiving the material, J. Paul Smith and Dennis Hinch, leading to questions placed to Souza from others who would like some of the material. Souza said he would like to see the city take bids for the sale of the biosolid and generate some revenue for the city.

According to Veolia manager Clark Annis, the value of the biosolids, based on the current cost of fertilizer, is $75,000 to $100,000 per year. Annis added, “This change makes sense.”

Interim city manager Jack Miller said there was not a market for this until recently.

Also discussed during the work session was the business of septic tank haulers who use the city wastewater treatment plant to unload their trucks. Annis said he had concerns about the septic business, explaining 95 percent of the business comes from outside the city limits and, depending on the load, a single tank can be equivalent to the waste from 200 residences attached to the city's sewer system.

Souza said his investigation shows the city is currently charging less to septic haulers than to city sewer customers. Souza said he felt the new city manager should look into the matter and bring a recommendation back to the council.

The council will consider a request from Downtown Crossville, Inc. to use the the city's recently acquired Snodgrass building for office space downtown. The council will also consider a written outline of the proposed agreement with the incoming city manager David Rutherford.