When you gotta go, you gotta go.

In order to resolve the sewer problem at Pleasant Hill Elementary, Cumberland County Board of Education members voted to approve a proposal requesting the school connect its sewer system to the Uplands Retirement Village treatment plant. Without a working sewer system in place, the school would not be allowed to operate, according to BOE members.

Not yet finished, the plant is being designed by CE Designers, Inc. Once plans are finished, bids from contractors will begin. According to Uplands executive director Nancy Himell, the project is anticipated to begin within two months with project construction taking 90 to 120 days.

"We have a waste water treatment plant that has been mandated by the state to be repaired, so we've been working on doing that. In fact, we were in the final stages of that design when [County Mayor] Brock Hill suggested that I might want to talk to the school system and brought my attention to the Pleasant Hill elementary school situation," said Himell.

Himell noted that the Uplands' treatment plant mainly serves those living in the retirement village's residents, but were interested helping the community. The benefit for Uplands would be the monthly service fee charged to the schools based on what other school systems are paying, which is around $450 per 1,000 gallons, according to Himell.

The proposal includes constructing a grease trap for the school. Engineers are requesting that the grease trap be three times the size of the school's current trap. The grease trap would need to be cleaned, adding another charge for the system.

The estimated cost for the construction of the grease trap is $5,000, making the total estimated construction cost come to $58,000. With all other fees, including the purchase of plant capacity for a 1,000-student school costing $150,000, the total project cost is estimated at $218,000.

Steve Smith, maintenance director, said estimates given to him concerning the repairs to the Pleasant Hill sewer system started at $150,000 but have escalated to $300,000.

"I think this is once again a reflection of what Uplands and the people of Pleasant Hill have done since I've been on the school board in doing whatever they can do to help the children," said Orville Hale, 8th District representative. "I don't see this as anything but a win-win situation for the school system and the children, and it's a lower cost to the taxpayers, and I move that we move forward with this and give a big hand and congratulations to the Uplands."

The engineer present on behalf of CE Designers agreed to look at the sewer system at North Cumberland Elementary at Smith's request.

The motion to approve the proposal was made by Hale and seconded 8th District representative Dan Schlafer. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

For more coverage of the August 2 BOE meeting, check out www.crossville-chronicle.com for stories pertaining to items discussed from the consent agenda concerning high school sports.

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