Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

May 10, 2007

Council denies Tansi sewer service

By Jim Young / jimyoungreporter@gmail.com

After discussion between the Crossville City Council and representatives of Lake Tansi at the council's regular May meeting, a majority of the council approved a motion to provide no sewer service to any of Lake Tansi at the present time.

The council did approve a water line extension and a water sales contracts to help two new residential developments with their water needs at the same meeting. Both of the new developments are just outside Cumberland County.

The council took the sewer action during an agenda item to discuss a letter from the Tansi Property Owners Association (POA) in which they formalized a request to purchase 10,000 gallons a day of sewer capacity from the city. The POA offered to pay a one time fee of $100,000 for the capacity along with the outside the city limit sewer charge per gallon of sewer used.

The letter states that the drive behind the request is to protect the Tansi lakes from being polluted by runoff from failing septic systems around the lakes. According to the letter, recent information from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and studies by Tennessee Technological University indicate the level of bacteria in the lake is unnaturally high and expected to increase.

The POA letter concludes, "We are asking the City of Crossville to help us protect these lakes and preserve a potential fresh water supply that may be available as the future needs dictate."

David Sutton, Tansi POA general manager, and Ed Yoder, chairman of the POA board, addressed the council at the meeting. Councilman Boyd Wyatt asked about the grant previously announced to study a possible sewer plant in the area. Sutton said that the $1 million grant was to study the feasibility of such a plant but he felt by the time anything could be accomplished, it may be too late.

Wyatt stated that while he liked Lake Tansi, he felt the city's long standing policy of providing sewer service only to schools or churches outside the city limits should be followed.

Councilman Carl Duer expressed concern about setting a precedent and how the city would handle any future requests for sewer like the one from Lake Tansi.

Councilman Jesse Kerley agreed with the other council members and asked what happened to the original agreement between the city and Tansi that would have given the city access to water from the lake as a back-up water supply.

Tansi POA's Ed Yoder said, "I went through that battle and I was in favor of the deal." Yoder added, "But citizens opposed that and we had to withdraw."

Councilman Wyatt commented, "Some people just didn't understand what the city was offering." Wyatt concluded saying that certain letters to the editor created hard feelings with the city.

Wyatt made a motion that the city not provide any sewer service to Lake Tansi. The motion carried with Wyatt, Duer and Kerley voting yes and Graham and Dean voting no.

The council approved an agreement with the Fall Creek Falls Utility District (FCFUD) to sell water that will help provide adequate water supply to the new Hawks Bluff V development in northern Bledsoe County. The request was made last month by the International Land Consultants (ILC) the company developing the property.

The agreement allows FCFUD to buy water from the city at $2.77 per thousand gallons. In addition, they will pay 40 cents per thousand gallons to South Cumberland Utility District for a transport fee to get the water from city system to Fall Creek's system. A short water line will be paid for by ILC to complete the connection.

Councilman Wyatt expressed concern about how much water capacity would be committed to the deal and requested a limit be placed in the agreement. The agreement included language that said the city would reduce water to FCFUD if capacity was a problem, but Wyatt wanted a specific number in the contract and it was agreed that the limit would be 10 million gallons a month.

The council also agreed to a contract between the city and the Bluffs, a new development of 174 building lots under construction in Putnam County. The council also approved a contract for engineering services for the construction of a water line to the development.