2007-06-06 / News

Thornville, county close to deal on water, sewer

By Scott Rawdon

THORNVILLE- Thornville and Perry County officials are optimistic that an agreement can be reached Thursday night, 7 p.m., at the Thornville Village Officeon an issue that's challenged both the village and the county for nearly two years. Thornville Mayor Beth Patrick and Perry County Commissioner Lonnie Wood seemed fairly confident that the village and the county can agree on contracts for the village to provide sewer service to homes on the south bank of Buckeye Lake and a contract for the village to provide water to Northern Perry County.

"It's time for us to sit down and get it done," said Patrick. "It's been years. Everyone needs answers." She said Thornville's solicitor reviewed the village's latest response to the county possibly to provide sewer services to residents mainly along Honey Creek Road south of the village. "The commissioners have to compromise," said Patrick. "We've given as much as we can. We're getting down to a critical time when we're going to have to decide what to do. I think it's a positive thing."

"We've got everything so close," said Wood. He believes Thornville will agree to approve both contracts by the end of Thursday's meeting, which he called a "workshop." He added, "The sewer's pretty well taken care of. I hope they go for it. I think it's good for everyone."

If an agreement is met on one or both of the contracts Thursday night, the Thornville Village Council will still need to give final approval.

Jerry Rehart, operations supervisor of the Northern Perry County Water and Wastewater Department, said everything's very close to being on schedule to meet a Dec. 24 completion date for sewer infrastructure installation in Thornport, along Honey Creek Road. If the commissioners and village reach an agreement, the $4 million infrastructure would be tied into Thornville's sewer system. Currently, the infrastructure does not have a source. If an agreement can't be met with Thornville, the Perry County Commissioners have discussed upgrading the existing Crown Wehrle sewer treatment plant.

Rehart said construction crews ran into more "dewatering," or groundwater drainage, problems than expected, but otherwise "they're doing very well," he said, and staying on schedule.

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, the 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.

The Thornport sewer system, called 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 nearly 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 is being installed 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.

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