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McKenzie Council Hears Long-Term Concerns About Sewer System

McKenzie Council Hears Long-Term Concerns About Sewer System

McKENZIE (June 29) — The city council met Thursday afternoon in a special called meeting to hold a public hearing and a second and final reading on the budget for the next fiscal year. Councilpersons also addressed other issues, including the long-term concerns about the city’s sewer system during the meeting.

The council heard a presentation by Jim Hilborn, P.E., of GRW Engineering & Architects and Frank Tate, Executive Director of the McKenzie Industrial Board.


Hilborn explained the history and current status of the city’s wastewater system, outlining the upgrades, rehabilitation, and tests that have been conducted in the past ten years and what was still left to be done. He explained that the remaining repairs would be roughly $2-2.5 million, and offered the suggestion to apply for a Rural Development loan.

Tate spoke about the limitations of the current system being a hindrance to attracting new industry, particularly large industries that would employ a substantial number of workers. He was hopeful, though, that if the city has a plan to resolve the issues, even several years down the road, he can begin to secure some businesses with long-term plans.

Hilborn and Tate strongly urged the council to move forward by allowing them to submit a Rural Development application.

Mayor Holland said that it will appear on the July 2017 agenda.

The city has addressed the issue over a 10-year period, making $500,000 repairs to the system on an annual or bi-annual basis to correct the stormwater infiltration into the system. The state of Tennessee Department of Conservation and Environment placed the city on a moratorium, restricting any large users of water and sewer. That occurred during the previous city administration, which, along with the current administration, worked to incrementally correct the situation. Insituform was contracted to install inner liners in the sewer system lines. In doing so, the company made cuts in the streets, such as the pavement patches along South Main Street. Last year, the city approved a major renovation to the wastewater plant on Clark Street in McKenzie.

In March 2016, the city board approved Moore Construction Company as the contractor for that phase of the sewer rehabilitation project. The Clarksville company has been the contractor on each of the other Community Development Block Grant sewer rehabilitation projects. Water rates were increased slightly to help pay for the sewer system plant rehabilitation.

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