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Jonesborough leaders sorting out sewer situation

At its March 8 meeting, the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen took the first step toward annexing three parcels of property off Anderson Drive into the corporate limits of the Town.
Terry Orth, of Orth Construction, requested the annex for the property, where he intends to build Ashley Meadows Subdivision. The motion passed its first reading.
The proposed subdivision, Ashley Meadows, came before the BMA about four years ago, when the Town agreed to eventually allow the property to be sewered and annexed, according to a Town report.
But Jonesborough’s sewer situation has changed since then, requiring a different plan for sewering the property. Four years ago, a sewer pump station was planned to pump the property’s waste over the hill and down College Street to the A-station, but since the Tennessee Department of Conservation and Environment’s Commissioner’s Order, no more flows can be added to that station.
Town staff has been working on a plan to instead gravity-flow the sewer through one large tract of vacant land between Hwy 81 North and the Meadows subdivision, which would allow sewer from the area around 81 and Anderson Drive to gravity flow to Persimmon Ridge Park, negating the need for a pump station.
Instead of using the developer’s fees to help fund a pump station, that money would be invested in sewer line materials instead, a Town report said. The annexation ordinance must now go through a second reading and pass at the April BMA meeting.
TDEC’s Commissioner’s Order to Jonesborough is also holding up the Town’s examination of infiltration and inflow into its wastewater treatment plant.
Average flows into the wastewater treatment plant for February were at 988,000 gallons per day, which is over the 500,000 gallons per day capacity, and the plant had 13 daily violations in February.
The Town is working to inspect infiltration and inflow (when extra water leaks in from rainfall) in its sewer lines through flow monitoring, a process that should take several months since it’s best to see different amounts of rainfall to see where the system’s problems are.
However, the Town is also supposed to submit a report to TDEC in July, required by the Commissioner’s Order, in which the Town was given 12 months to collect all the sewer data and enter it into a program.
Browning requested another year to complete the task, but was denied. While it would be logical to camera the sewer lines at the same time collect data, the time constraint put on by TDEC makes that impossible, a Town report said.
“With our serious I&I problem, we should be trying to work on both goals at the same time,” according to Town Administrator Bob Browning’s report. “We can’t, however, meet the Commissioner’s Oder timetable for modeling if we camera at the same time.”
Browning said he has written asking TDEC to extend the time so the Town can “proceed in the manner that makes the most sense,” the report said.
In other news, in a meeting with TDOT officials, Browning said the state agency has suggested a Spot Safety grant for $121,000 to make improvements to the Persimmon Ridge and West Main Street. The money will help to cut banks back as much as possible and square up the intersection. The Spot Safety Committee meets on March 12 and the motion is expected to be approved.
A second reading of the ordinance that would allow Depot Street Brewery to sell beer in a “tasting room” on-premise passed unanimously.
Town Recorder Abbey Miller said the general fund is in good shape and taxes are coming in on schedule.
The BMA scheduled its retreat for March 30 from 8 a.m. to noon, open to the public.
“We are going to address some bigger issues,” Wolfe said, such as “infrastructure, tourism and quality of life.”
In downtown news, “progress has been slow with the new restrooms downtown because of bad weather,” according to a Town report. The block walls and the roof are currently in place.
Meanwhile, underground wiring for the Courthouse parking lot project has been completed, and the lamp posts have been installed. Brick pavers have also been removed from the sidewalk between Fox Street and Courthouse Square and a new walk will be built once final approval is received.