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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2007
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Hartselle sewer extension taking time
Expansion east of interstate may not happen until summer

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — For the council members here who wanted sewer on the east side of Interstate 65 yesterday, sorry.

And, if you're expecting it anytime soon, well, that may not happen either.

At the earliest, it may be late summer before Hartselle Utilities can get sewer to city-owned property near Alabama 36 and I-65.

"This is not something where you turn on the stick and get it done tomorrow," HU General Manager Ferrell Vest said.

Since adopting a master plan, HU has spent almost $5 million revamping an antiquated sewer system that was on the verge of collapsing. Part of revitalization has included upgrading lines on the west side of I-65 to handle expansion to the east.

But, if a developer called Hartselle today needing sewer east of I-65, Vest said, it would take time to get lines there.

"We have to bid these projects, and they don't happen overnight," he said.

There's also the issue of cost.

The City Council may have to spend $500,000 to get sewer to land Hartselle purchased east of I-65 on Alabama 36.

"We don't have any choice but to spend this money because we've got this land that has to have sewer," Council President Kenny Thompson said.

In June, the city made a commitment to pay more than $2 million for 18.8 acres near I-65 and Alabama 36. The agreement with NBC Inc., a family-owned corporation, required Hartselle to pay $555,000 down and $27,669 monthly for the next five years.

So far, developers have shied away from the city-owned property because it does not have sewer.

Mayor Dwight Tankerley said the city is getting a land easement so Hartselle can bid the Alabama 36 sewer project.

"The landowner is aware and has agreed to give us the easement," he said.

As for sewer down Thompson Road, Vest said, this may take longer because HU must run this line from U.S. 31.

"We have engineering plans for the project, but we have to get easements," he said.

Vest said HU already has an encasement under I-65 at Thompson Road, but he couldn't give an estimate on the cost of running a sewer line from U.S. 31 to property that local attorney Jeff Gray, Kathy White Goodwin and Johnny Goodwin own.

Hartselle annexed their 32 acres in September 2005.

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