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Surgoinsville looks to get Blimpie on ‘fast track’

August 13th, 2013 9:05 am by Jeff Bobo

SURGOINSVILLE — Town leaders are hoping the new Surgoinsville sewer system spurs commercial development, but one restaurant isn’t going to wait for the sewer before setting up shop on the “four-lane.”

The “Blimpie” sub sandwich shop franchise has requested a business zoning change for property located on Highway 11-W across the road from the Dollar General and Pizza Plus stores.

Mayor Johnny Greer told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at Monday’s meeting that the zoning request will first have to be approved by the Surgoinsville Planning Commission, which meets Thursday at noon.

Blimpie wants to put the project on the fast track, however, which is why the BMA recessed Monday’s meeting.

The board will reconvene Thursday at 2 p.m. — after the Planning Commission has acted on the Blimpie request — to consider the first of two required readings of the zoning change ordinance.

Phase one of Surgoinsville’s new sewer system project will affect businesses and residences on and around Main Street between the middle and elementary schools and the Phipps Bend Industrial Park.

Although 11-W isn’t part of that first phase, Greer said he would push for the “four-lane” to be covered in phase two of the sewer project due to the potential for commercial growth in that area.

“What we really want out there is a grocery store, and we’ll need a sewer line on the four-lane before that happens,” Greer said. “In the meantime we’re thrilled that Blimpie has chosen our town for a new location. We have some real estate out on the four lane that is really prime for commercial development.

“Just as soon as phase one of the sewer project is completed, the town definitely needs to start working on a plan to get sewer out there too.”

Because a sewer line project is imminent on the Highway 11-W, Blimpie received a waiver from the state regarding commercial septic and field bed requirements

“There’s a septic system in place that was just installed with a generous amount of field bed,” Greer said. “The state required that there be another (septic and field bed) for later on, for a backup if one fails. But, since we have a sewer project in the works, the state forgave that second amount of land, which is a substantial piece of land.”

The BMA’s sewer committee will meet with state officials and the engineers Thursday at 10 a.m. to make some final decisions and preparations before phase one of the sewer project is advertised for bids.

Greer told the BMA that among the issues to be discussed Thursday morning are the sewer hookup fee and the sewer rate.

He said the construction bid is expected to be advertised at the end of September.

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