Crothersville Asked To Extend Sewer For Future Development

The Crothersville Town Council wants provide sewer service along the east side of US 31 on the southern outskirts of town.
Sims Bark, which is building a bark mulch manufacturing facility at U.S. 31 and County Road 1150 E (Frontage Road) adjacent to Interstate 65 at the Crothersville exit has requested to connect into the town’s sewer system.
The location is currently outside of the town limits but is expected to be annexed into the town limits.
It will require the town supply an 8-inch sewer main to the east side of U.S. 31, said sewer superintendent Mason Boicourt.
The new sewer line would make it possible for more development in the area, however, he added.
The town would bore under US 31 at the Industrial Way lift station to provide for sanitary sewage service in the undevelopted area.
Sims Bark would be the only customer for now now. “But it gives us the opportunity to provide sewer to other properties on the east side of the road,” Boicourt said
The existing sewer lift station will be able to handle the additional capacity from Sims Bark, but it would have to be upgraded in the future if there is more development in that area, Boicourt added. No process water will flow to the sanitary sewer. The new industry will have employee restrooms flow into the sanitary sewer system.
If the town doesn’t want to spend the money on the sewer, Sims Bark could install their own 2-inch line from the property taking it below U.S. 31 to tie into the line that serves Crothersville Industrial Park, but that would prevent future hookups, said Brad Bender, with FPBH the town’s engineer.
He also said it would make Sims a contract customer, which would be unusual. “I don’t believe we have any other contract customers,” Bender said.
Council member Lenvel “Butch” Robinson suggested the town negotiate with Sims Bark to see if they would install an 8-inch line instead of a 2-inch so others could hook up to it and dedicate it to the town.
But if the town did that, Sims Bark would then be able to recover some of its costs from future ratepayers that decide to hook on to that line, said town attorney Jeff Lorenzo.
If such a partnership wouldn’t work, “then maybe Sims Bark could make a donation to the town” to help fund the project, Robinson said.
Bender said he would contact Independent Land Surveying, which is working with Sims Bark, to tell them the town is willing to look into a public extension of the sewer line provided the company participates in the project.
“They are obviously asking to do this because it’s a cheaper solution than putting in a commercial septic system required by the county,” Bender said.
The town already supplies the area outside of town on the east side of US 31 with water and fire hydrants as well as police protection.
Extending the sewer into the area will allow the town to annex approximately 140 undeveloped acres for residential, industrial and commercial development. Additionally, the property could be placed in the Crothersville TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District where business expansion in the area could be used for fixing up the downtown area.
But the town apparently needs to take more rapid action that they customarily do.
The Jackson County Council is looking at the possibility of establishing tax increment finance districts in unincorporated area of Jackson County that would allow the county to capture tax money from new industrial development or increased property values in those county controlled TIF districts. That money would then be used to fund infrastructure, redevelopment or incentives to promote economic development in other areas.
The Sims Bark property is one of the areas being discussed as a potential Jackson County TIF district.
In other business,
•The council approved second reading by a 4-0 vote to make the alley next to town hall from Main to Howard Street an area with no parking on either side.
•Considered making fines for unkempt and nuisance properties an entire council action rather than a letter from a single councilman.
•On the yet-to-be started Seymour Road/Cindy Lane sewer renovation, gave contractor King’s Construction a 30-day extension for substantial completion and a 15-day extension for final completion. King’s will be reminded that the CDBG project has an Aug. 31, 2019 completion date. Rain and floods were the reasons cited for King’s delay.
•Another round of paving grants is underway but the council opted to wait to apply in January 2020 so the town could review their finances.