Storm drain solution approved

Published 4:15 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – A tentative plan to fix a storm drain line that has caused trouble for local property owners was approved by the Murfreesboro Town Council at their meeting on July 26.

The aging pipe has been discussed numerous times at previous town council meetings, with property owners sharing their concerns about sinkholes that have appeared due to erosion. The line is fed from storm drains on Main Street and Spring Avenue, and it runs through properties on High Street, Main Street, and north towards Broad Street.

One of the affected properties is ACE Hardware.

“There’s some big sinkholes back there,” explained council member Jay Revelle, referring to the ACE property that he and others have visited to examine the issue.

Revelle said he recently reached out to a contractor, and they visited the property again to see what could be done.

“We discovered it wasn’t metal pipe. It was concrete pipe,” Revelle reported.

Because the pipe is concrete, the contractor said the problem could probably be fixed by mending the joints with new concrete. But Revelle cautioned that they didn’t do a full assessment, so more issues could be uncovered once the work starts.

The quote for the work, he said, was $8,300, though it would be a bit higher with tax included.

He also explained that this work would only be for the ACE property and another adjoining property right now. A different property owner told Revelle that they didn’t want the town on their property.

Revelle said they’d abide by that, but would also reach out to “extend an olive branch” again if they were successful in this endeavor to fix the storm drain line.

Town Attorney Cecelia Jones noted that the pipes do not connect to any structures on those lots, so it is up to the town to fix the problems instead of the property owners.

Murfreesboro previously received an Asset Inventory and Assessment (AIA) grant from the state to look at stormwater issues in the town. Those grant funds are to be used to map the existing system, but the work hasn’t begun yet. In May, however, the council did approve a bid from Municipal Engineering to conduct that assessment.

Mayor Hal Thomas asked if this proposal would affect the AIA grant, and Town Administrator Carolyn Brown answered no.

With the discussion concluded, council member David Brown motioned to approve the quote, and Revelle seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.

The News Herald reached out to the town for an estimate about when the work would begin, but there is no set date yet.