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Town could get state grant money for continued sewer improvements

Jonesborough could get a little help funding its much needed sewer improvements.
Officials from the Town met with federal officials in Nashville last week to discuss the possibility of a loan-matching grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Mayor Kelly Wolfe.
“We met with the folks from Rural Development, and it looks like they’re leaning towards funding our sewer project for us,” Wolfe said. “That’s a pretty big deal to match that. If we borrow $4 million, we could get close to $2 million in a grant.”
The project would expand Jonesborough’s maximum capacity at its sewer plant and aims to fix any sewer overflow or effluent violations the Town has been experiencing.
In the past, Jonesborough has seen violations from heavy rain flow. The design capability of the facility is around 500,000 gallons, an amount that allows Jonesborough to treat the wastewater thoroughly. However, Jonesborough’s plant now averages over 700,000 gallons a day. With a higher ongoing flow, it is harder to meet treatment requirements, Town officials have said.
But the Town is capped at 500,000 gallons a day into Little Limestone Creek. As the town grows, it will have to deal with more sewage, but it can’t expand its connections until it has the capacity to deal with more gallons per day.
The Town has asked to move its outfall, or discharge permit, to the Nolichucky River, which can handle more than 500,000 gallons a day.
“It’s a matching grant of around 40 to 45 percent of what we’re going to borrow,” Wolfe said. “It could mean significant savings for the Jonesborough taxpayers.”