Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 14, 2008

City council happy to remove water restrictions

By Jim Young / jimyoungreporter@gmail.com

During their April meeting, the Crossville city council voted to remove all water restrictions put in place last year because of the drought and approved an offer of sewer service to Lake Tansi Amenities in exchange for rights to harvest overflow water from Lake Tansi for Meadow Park Lake.

The Crossville City Council continues to spend a large percentage of its time on water discussions, but with a much more regular rainfall this winter, the council agreed to lift all water restrictions completely.

The matter came up under interim city manager Mike Turner's report to the council. Turner said the city had been receiving numerous calls from customers who wanted to know if they could fill swimming pools this spring.

Turner said both the city's water supply lakes were currently full and he was glad customers were calling before filling the pools. The council quickly moved to lift the water restrictions put in place under the drought ordinance that had been in place since last summer. The motion passed unanimously.

During a discussion of the raw water supply expansion at Meadow Park Lake, Mayor Pro-Tem Boyd Wyatt brought up a proposal to give Lake Tansi Village Property Owner Association (LTVPOA) properties access to the city sewer system in exchange for the right to harvest water from Lake Tansi to help supply drinking water to the community. This same matter had been discussed over a year ago but was turned down at that time by the LTVPOA board.

Just under a year ago, the LTVPOA had requested permission from the city to purchase sewer service from the city and the city, following their long-time precedence, turned down the request as it has for all requests for sewer service outside the city without annexation or some other reason as a school or church.

Currently, the LTVPOA is working on construction of a small package sewage treatment plant that will eventually meet the wastewater needs of the ammenities. But, the LTVPOA still needs help during the 18 to 24 months it will take to get the project built and hooked up. Until the package plant is completed, the LTVPOA needs sewer service for the Lake Tansi Pro Shop, the Nineteenth Hole Restaurant and other LTVPOA owned amenities. No private residential properties will be allowed to hook on to the sewer line.

In exchange for the right to use the sewer and discharge up to 5,000 gallons per day at no charge to the POA, the city would receive the right to harvest excess water from Lake Tansi for a period of 50 years. The city would generally only have the rights to raw water that would otherwise naturally flow over the spillway of Lake Tansi. The city would install equipment and lines to pump the water from Lake Tansi to the Meadow Park Lake to maintain drinking water supplies in the expanded lake currently in the planning stages by the city.

LTVPOA would be required to get a binding opinion letter from its attorneys that it has the authority and ability to bind the POA and its members to the agreement for the 50 year term.

In addition, the proposed agreement says that the LTVPOA would give the city the right to draw water from Lake Tansi if one or both of the city's reservoirs are 5 feet or more below normal pool level, even if no water is flowing over the spillway at Lake Tansi.

Wyatt's motion was supported by Councilman Carl Duer and the motion passed unanimously. City attorney Ken Chadwell was directed to work on an agreement between the city and the LTVPOA.

A project that has been in the works for several years is now ready to move forward. The upgrading of the Holiday Hills Dam, widening of the weir/spillway and reconstruction of the bridge across the dam will soon be underway. The council approved the low bidder Highways Inc. to do the work on the bridge repairs. The low bid was just over $2.8 million, part of which will be paid by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Once the work gets underway, the majority of Holiday Hills residents will be unable to access Sparta Highway across the dam. Last year, the city completed an extension of Deerfield Road from Bob White Road to Tenth Street near the Tennessee Technology Center as an alternative route where a new traffic light has been installed.

The work on the dam stems from a letter from the state that the city received in 2001 notifying them that the Holiday Lake Dam was in apparent violation of the Safe Dams Act. At the time, the city was looking at making improvements to the Holiday Lake dam spillway and weir to better control the level of the lake for the city's water plant intake.

That 2001 letter indicated the Holiday Hills dam appeared to violate the Safe Dams Act based on a very unlikely Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) rainfall event of 29.85 inches of rain in a six-hour period. Based on calculations prepared by the state, such a PMP rain event would cause the water behind the Holiday Lake dam to rise more than two feet above the top of the dam and should the dam fail, it would threaten several houses and bridges below the dam.