Big Stink Over Proposed Sewage Plant In Huntertown

By John W. Davis

June 20, 2011 Updated Jun 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM EDT

HUNTERTOWN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - "Our questions have been the same. Why in our park? What about our property values? The smell... Isn't there someplace else we can put this," said Huntertown Resident Dave Garman.

Garman and about a dozen other residents spoke against the sewage plant at the Huntertown Town Council meeting Monday night.

In total, about 100 residents have attended the past two town council meetings, rallying in support against a proposal to build a sewage plant in the middle of the neighborhood.

Huntertown Town Council members told the crowd, they only have two options.

One, permanently hook up their sewer lines with the City of Fort Wayne and wait for Fort Wayne to raise monthly sewer rates.

Or two, spend more than $11 million dollars and build their own sewage plant.

Council members said hopefully the new plant would keep residents monthly bills locked in around 50 dollars.

Council members told community members expect an increase of 20, 30 or even 40 dollars a month if Fort Wayne continues to provide sewage services for Huntertown residents.

However, residents are against the plant because the proposed location would be next to several homes and businesses.

It would also be located on land that was originally supposed to become a community park.

Meanwhile, some residents suggested Huntertown renegotiate with Fort Wayne.

However, council members said they have been working on this project for years and that Fort Wayne will not budge on rate increases.

Town Council President Jim Fortman is pushing for the project.

Fortman revealed during the town council meeting that he lives next door to the proposed sewage plant site.

So Indiana's NewsCenter asked Fortman, if you were not on town council, would you really want the sewage plant in your backyard?

"Yeah because of the rates of going to the City of Fort Wayne," said Huntertown Town Council President Jim Fortman.

"I know what the rates are gonna be. I know they're controlling the growth in Huntertown and myself, it's its gonna be an extra 20 to 30 dollars a month, that's times 12, times however many years we're gonna live here. That's a lot of money," explained Fortman.

Fortman told Indiana's NewsCenter, Huntertown Town Council members have been approached by a few people since their June 6 meeting about potential sites.

He said town leaders are looking into those properties.

However, he said the Woods Road neighborhood is their only option at this time.

Huntertown owns that land.

It was previously slated to be used a Community Park.

Garman and other residents are calling for a public vote on the matter.

However, Fortman said a decision can't wait until next year.

Town leaders want the sewage plant open by Spring 2013.

Some kind of action, even a final vote, could be made very soon.

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