Mayor Merrell Graham told the Times News Wednesday that the Phase 2 sewer project, which focused mainly on extending sewer to Johnson Estates, is ready to be closed out.
In 2016, Surgoinsville was awarded a $510,405 Community Development Block Grant for Phase 2 from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to expand sewer service west of the local elementary and middle schools on Main Street and into the Johnson Estates Subdivision.
In 2015, the $3.5 million Phase 1 sewer project brought service to about 300 customers from the middle and elementary schools on Main Street east to the Phipps Bend Industrial Park, where the system links with the Church Hill system for treatment at its sewer plant.
Phase 3 will connect six homes in Johnson Estates that weren’t covered by Phase 2, as well as another dozen homes in locations yet to be determined.
In order to be eligible for the grant funding, at least 60 percent of the homes must fall within the LMI (Low to Moderate Income) guidelines.
“We want to finish Johnson Estates if we get that grant, and then we’ll have to move to another part of town and pick up some more,” Graham said. “We were hoping there’d be a bigger grant available because we’d like to just take off across the airport and go into Stewart Landing. But it may be awhile before we can go there.”
Graham added, “We’ll have to find an area where we can pick up some LMIs because the rest of Johnson Estates there probably won’t be any LMIs. To be honest, there’s not a lot left in Surgoinsville. Highland Street, Pilot Circle, Stewart Landing, and of course there’s Virginia Hills, but there won’t be any LMIs there. It’s really slim pickings, to be honest, but we’ll have to find them to qualify for the grant.”
Phase 3 of the sewer project was discussed at Tuesday’s Surgoinsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, but no action was taken.
Other BMA discussion Tuesday included:
Erroneous delinquent tax notices
Graham said several homeowners recently received notices that their 2017 city taxes were delinquent.
When the town uploaded tax payment information to the state, several payments weren’t included.
It’s the city’s fault, and Graham said anyone who receives an erroneous delinquent tax notice can simply ignore it because the missing files have since been uploaded to the state.
Surgoinsville History/Archive Museum
The BMA agreed to declare exercise equipment being stored in the basement of the Surgoinsville Public Library as surplus and sell it at auction.
A group of local citizens is currently in the planning and fundraising stage of developing the library basement into a city museum and historical archive.
The BMA agreed to donate proceeds from the exercise equipment sale to that effort.
Paving project completed
The $150,000 paving of Church Street and Old Stage Road was recently completed, eliminating breaks in the pavement created by the sewer installation project and a sinkhole.
Graham said he received compliments from the public stating the center of town has never looked better since that paving job was completed.