Surgoinsville to condemn four properties for sewer line easements

Jeff Bobo • Jul 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — Construction bids for Surgoinsville’s new sewer system are expected to be advertised in late August, but in the meantime the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will begin condemnation proceedings on three property owners who haven’t given the town a sewer line easement.

Surgoinsville is currently on the home stretch of its $3.5 million sewer project which has been discussed and planned for more than a decade.

The first phase of Surgoinsville’s sewer project will connect about 300 customers to a trunk line that begins at Surgoinsville’s middle and elementary schools.

The trunk line then extends east along Main Street to the Phipps Bend Industrial Park where it connects to Church Hill’s system.

Surgoinsville’s sewage will be treated at the Church Hill Sewer Treatment Plant.

If construction bids are advertised on schedule in late August, the BMA could select a low bidder as early as its October meeting, after which construction would likely begin within 90 days. Construction is expected to take a little more than a year.

Of the 21 properties on which a sewer line easement is required for construction, as of Thursday there were three property owners holding out.

One of those property owners has two adjacent lots where an easement is needed.

On Monday the BMA approved the first reading of an ordinance authorizing Town Attorney Joe May to begin condemnation proceedings on three Main Street property owners who have not yet agreed to give the town a sewer line easement.

Three properties are located just west of downtown Surgoinsville near the First United Methodist Church. The other property is located on Main Street across from Surgoinsville Middle School.

Mayor Johnny Greer said one property owner lives in Washington state and has refused to accept certified letters regarding the easement. The other two have refused to accept an easement agreement with the town.

“The engineers told us this is common practice when you get down to the nitty gritty on the easements, so we’re going to have to go the hard route,” Greer said. “It will just be an eight inch line buried in the ground, and it will be covered over never to be seen again. You hate to go to court over something like that, but apparently it’s just part of the process.”

The BMA meets in workshop session on July 15 at 7 p.m. to discuss the 2013-14 budget. Then at 8 p.m. Monday there will be a special called meeting for the BMA to give its second and final approval of the condemnation ordinance.

The BMA recessed Monday’s meeting and will reconvene July 22 at 7 p.m. to consider final approval of the budget.

As of Monday’s meeting the BMA was attempting to find a way to keep a $25,000 backhoe purchase in the budget. Greer said that backhoe will be needed after the first phase of the sewer project is completed.

Although the first 300 customers will have their sewer lines installed during primary construction, Greer said the town will need a backhoe and a ditcher for adding new customers after the initial construction is completed.

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