2007-03-24 / Front Page

The Wait is Over

Perry County Commissioners hold groundbreaking
By Scott Rawdon

THORNPORT- It's been a long time coming, but it's definitely under way. The Perry County Commissioners and the engineering firmof ME Companies officially announced the groundbreaking of the Northern Perry County Wastewater Collection System Phase II Fireman's Park/Holiday Harbor Project during a ceremony March 16 at the Thornport AmVets. Providing public sewer service to the south bank of Buckeye Lake has been discussed since the 1970s, but the project is a reality in 2007, and Phase II is intended to be complete by the end of the year. The commissioners are still deciding who will provide processing for the system-- Thornville, Licking County, or an expanded Crown Wehrle plant.

           Underground Utilities, Inc. begins work near Copper Penny Road Underground Utilities, Inc. begins work near Copper Penny Road "This has been in the planning for several years," said ME Companies Vice President Kevin Wood. The project allows Perry County to come into compliance with EPA guidelines. The project's contractor is Underground Utilities, Inc. of Monroeville, Ohio.

The dilemma of providing sewer to the portion of Buckeye Lake's south bank in Perry County goes back to the 1970s, when Ohio EPA offered to install a public system, but the county commissioners who were in officeat the time refused the service. After determining that some septic systems in the area were leaking into Buckeye Lake, Ohio EPA placed a moratorium on additional construction in the area. Frustrated property owners haven't been able to build on lakeside lots for years.

Left to right, Steve Grossman, executive director of the Ohio Water Development Authority; Jerry Rehart, operations supervisor of Northern Perry County Water & Wastewater; and Perry County commissioners Fred Shriner, Lonnie Wood, and Thad Cooperrider. Left to right, Steve Grossman, executive director of the Ohio Water Development Authority; Jerry Rehart, operations supervisor of Northern Perry County Water & Wastewater; and Perry County commissioners Fred Shriner, Lonnie Wood, and Thad Cooperrider. Wood said there will be a public meeting the first week in April to discuss the details for the project, but the time and place for the meeting is to be announced.

Steve Grossman, executive director of the Ohio Water Development Authority, said, "We are personally thrilled this is under way." The OWDA has funded 75 percent of the county's water and sewer projects. "(Perry County) is an excellent customer for us." He said the county pays its utility loans in a timely manner and the OWDA is very willing to provide loans to the county.

Perry County Commissioner Thad Cooperrider assured the commissioners will hold several public meetings through the duration of the project. He encouraged south bank residents to ask questions and contact the commissioners if they have concerns. "If you don't tell us, we don't know," he said. "This is really happening

now. The project's been 34 years in the works."

"Construction will be a pain in the butt for 10 months," Wood told residents, but the $4,085,792 project should be complete by 2008. He assured residents will be notified if construction blocks any of the roads that access Honey Creek Road. There will always be metal plates on site to cover trenches dug across the road to accomodate emergency vehicles or if residents "really need to get through," said Wood.

After the meeting, ME Companies Design Technician Stephan Moore explained the Northern Perry County Fireman's Park/Holiday Harbor project consists of a combination of gravity and force main sanitary sewers with a total length of approximately 33,000 linear feet of pipe; two lift stations (one along Honey Creek Road and one along Township Road 496); 332 service connections with 180 individual grinder pumps; and other equipment. The sewer will be located along the following roads: Honey Creek Road, Point Beautiful Road, Park Place Avenue, Park Place Court, South Shore Drive, Shady Nook Lane, Rustic Lane, Bay Point Drive, Copper Penny Road, Township Road 500, Township Road 1074, Township Road 1073, Township Road 1071, and Township Road 1072.

Cooperrider said Friday that the partial forced main system, which is being installed, requires smaller pipes and more shallow ditches than a complete gravity feed system, which was originally considered. He said construction will be "messy and inconvenient" for a while, but, "we'll work through it."

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