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Harrison, G’town officials discuss sewer plant

The Harrison County Regional Sewer District and the Georgetown Town Council have entered into discussions about a possible joint venture with a regional sewer plant. Georgetown officials, including Council President Billy Stewart, Everett Pullen, Jimmy Reynolds, Doug Cook and attorney Jim Montgomery, were present at the district’s meeting Thursday morning.
‘We’re open to any and all suggestions,’ Stewart said. ‘It would be less expensive if we can share the cost of operating the plant. We legally have to build a plant; we just don’t know where.’
Georgetown must break ground on a plant by January 2009 to avoid a $450,000 fine, Stewart said.
‘We have a clock ticking,’ he said.
Darin Duncan, district secretary, said the HCRSD should create a joint committee with Georgetown.
‘Obviously, you’re under the gun time-wise,’ Duncan told the Georgetown officials. ‘It would behoove both boards to create a joint committee to create joint targets.’
Duncan said the group should look at the legal details of crossing county lines to supply treatment and to look for potential sites for the plant.
‘It’s hard to make progress without looking at the details,’ he said.
Stewart said it is possible that Georgetown could break ground at its selected site located off S.R. 64, known as the O’Brien property, within 30 days, but he expects construction to be halted.
‘We expect to be sued,’ he said, ‘and the judge will stop construction.’
The joint committee will look at the cost of taking flow to the proposed Georgetown site from Harrison County.
‘We need to find out if it is even a consideration to take it to that plant (site),’ Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering said. ‘That site could be the ultimate site.’
Georgetown paid $350,000 for the land and more than $80,000 on improvements.
Stewart made it clear that the town council is not set on that property and other alternatives would be considered.
‘We can always sell that site,’ he said. ‘We have an obligation to look outside the box and help our citizens, whether in Georgetown or Harrison County.’
A regional plant could encourage growth near the Lanesville interchange project area and in New Salisbury. Rusty Sizemore, district representative from Lanesville, said there are 360 acres at the interchange area ready for development.
‘It would make that property a lot more attractive,’ Duncan said.
‘The reason they don’t have fast food in New Salisbury is they don’t have sewers,’ added Bill Byrd, district representative from Milltown.
‘Georgetown will have a plant,’ Stewart said. ‘Whether you’ll come with us as a customer or partner, we’ll have a plant.’
‘I think from what I hear from your side, I don’t see why we can’t work together,’ Tom Tucker, district president, said.
Duncan made the motion to appoint Sizemore, Byrd and district treasurer Gary Davis to the joint committee. Davis then added Duncan to the motion, which passed unanimously.
The Georgetown Town Council will appoint its side of the committee at its next meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 19.
In other matters, Duncan made the motion to sign the agreement with SSK for the takeover of the Berkshire Pointe wastewater treatment plant. Davis seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
The district’s next meeting will be next Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 8:30 a.m. at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.