Huntertown Sewage Showdown: New Site Proposed

By Corinne Rose
By John W. Davis

July 5, 2011 Updated Jul 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM EDT

HUNTERTOWN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Huntertown Council members approved a resolution to look into purchasing new land on Hathaway Road for a proposed sewage plant Tuesday night.

About 40 residents attended the Huntertown Town Council meeting which was held at the Huntertown Fire Station on Old Lima Road.

The new land resolution was approved unanimously.

"We've always been looking into new land. Yeah, the community didn't like it down in the town park. That was an option that we had. We've always been looking for a better place for the land, the sewage treatment plant," said Huntertown Council President Jim Fortman.

The exact location on Hathaway Road was not fully disclosed but Indiana's NewsCenter learned it would be about one to one and a half miles away from the current proposed location, near the corner on Old Lima Road and Woods Road in Huntertown.

The resolution calls for having the new land appraised within the next 30 days by two appraisers.

However, council members hope the appraisals can be expedited, with the property's land value presented at the next town council meeting, which will be held on Monday, July 18 at Huntertown Town Hall.

After the appraisal is done, Huntertown and the current land owner could enter negotiations.

If the land is purchased, it would solely be used for the the proposed sewage plant.

Town Council members told residents preliminary work shows that the Hathaway Road location would be a good spot for a sewage plant.

"Moving it appeases a lot of people and it's a good thing," said Huntertown Resident Dave Garman.

"I don't want it in the park but I still believe we've got some other concerns that we've got to work out. I believe that the county has to get involved with this, especially with the drainage," Garman said.

However, construction would not begin immediately after purchasing the new land.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) would have to approve the site.

IDEM would hold a public hearing.

IDEM would also have to approve a specific discharge point for treated waste water.

After IDEM approval, construction could begin.

Meanwhile, the council has recently faced complaints from residents who oppose proposed plans to build the new sewage plant near Lima Road and Woods Road, which sits near neighborhoods and businesses, and is supposed to be the site of a new, yet long-awaited public park.

The Hathaway Road location would be next to mostly farm land.

However, a few houses are sparingly located along Hathaway Road.

Fortman said Huntertown Town Council could will probably hear the same complaints but the new location would affect fewer people.

Meanwhile, Huntertown leaders are pushing for the $11 million plant so the town can break away from Fort Wayne's sewage plant and avoid a future rate hike.

Huntertown leaders want the sewage plant to be up and running by Spring 2013.

Therefore, a final decision to move forward with the proposal could come very soon.

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