M’boro may plug Villas sewer line

Published 12:28 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

MURFREESBORO — The Murfreesboro Town Council wants to put a plug in the Howard Hunter Villas Project—literally.

On Tuesday, after learning that the project’s sewer and water infrastructure is not ready to be a part of the town’s system, the council agreed to contact QUOLA about the deficiencies in their infrastructure as well as the inspections the lines needed to pass before the town can accept them onto their system. Council members made it clear that if those conditions are not met the sewer line will be plugged up.

During his report to the council, Interim Town Administrator Hugh Montgomery gave an update about the 2004 Community Development Block Grant close out.

Montgomery said he’s been attempting to contact Vicky Miller, assistant to the secretary of the Department of Commerce to get the matter with the grant completely resolved. He added Miller has to complete a monitoring visit to the lift station site and that the town’s engineer, Mike Barnette, has desired to be a part of that as well.

“I need to let you know, however, that the wastewater collection system, that is a part of this project, has not been accepted by the town of Murfreesboro,” he said.

Montgomery asked Public Works Director Gene Byrd to comment on his findings about the utilities on the Howard Hunter Villas site.

Byrd said he reported to the council a few months ago about the condition of the collection system.

“A section of the collection system has not passed the test yet,” he said.

Byrd reported problems with the pipe as well as a manhole that is leaking water.

He added the Hertford County Quality of Life Association (QUOLA) had been contacted, but nothing had been done about it.

Byrd said he his not willing to accept the sewer collection system with its current problems as well as the water system, which also had yet to have the appropriate test performed on it.

“Until these conditions are met, I recommend that Town Council do not accept any collections or water system improvements out there,” he said.

Montgomery questioned that if the grant is closed out and money is given to QUOLA, who is going to be responsible for the potentially failed lines.

“My recommendation is that we resolve some of these utility issues before we close this (the grant) out,” said Montgomery.

Councilwoman Gloria Odum said she thought everything had been taken care of and that is why the town had signed off on the project.

It was explained that the problems lie with the lines on the Villas property, which the town is not responsible for.

“Everything on our property is good,” said Councilman Bill Theodorakis.

He added the town doesn’t have to accept the Howard Hunter Villas part of the system.

Montgomery said the property’s water and wastewater systems are connected to the town’s infrastructure.

Byrd corroborated the fact.

“What can we do to disconnect it until it’s ready to be accepted?” asked Theodorakis.

Byrd said the sewer line could be plugged.

“When you pass the state inspection, you can connect onto the town’s system; that was the intent, that’s what we want, you can build 100 houses out there,” he said. “We need to get clear of this situation with Howard Hunter Villas as soon as possible, that’s bottom line.”

Other council members agreed.

“I agree too. We just keep (putting in) money, money, money…and they’re not doing anything,” said Odum. “”I’ve been here six years and they were not doing anything when I got here. …And we don’t have the money, the town doesn’t have the funds.”

Other council members noted that the project was affecting the town’s eligibility for other CDBG funds.

Montgomery suggested that the public works director have the plug placed in the line to keep the inflow from reaching the town’s system.

Town Attorney Buddy Jones suggested the town check with the town’s engineer first.

Theodorakis motioned that the town prepare for the visit from the Department of Commerce and also immediately notify QUOLA by certified letter of the issues with their infrastructure, as well as the tests that need to be performed, which if not corrected the sewer will be blocked off.

Theodorakis suggested that definite time frames be set as well.