published Friday, November 16th, 2012

Jasper sewer line project moving ahead

JASPER, Tenn. — The plan to construct a sewer line to an area known as Shellmound Business Park is moving forward in Jasper.

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores plans to build a store at that location.

On Monday, Jasper Mayor Billy Simpson said city officials have acquired most of the easements needed from residents and business owners to build the sewer line along the south side of U.S. Highway 41.

"We have all of the easements in hand right now with the exception of three," he said. "We do have commitments from those three that they are going to sign."

Love's sent out requests for bids on the construction of its store two weeks ago, Simpson said, and the city expects to bid out the sewer project next month.

The timeline depends on approval from various state entities, officials said.

Gary Cosby, an engineer with CTI Engineers Inc., said it is waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development staff to start seeking bids on the sewer project.

"Everything has been sent to [the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation]," he said, "but it's mainly waiting on Rural Development since they are overseeing the grant."

Alderman Steve Looney said the public should be aware that the sewer line will benefit only the truck stop for now.

City Attorney Mark Raines said Jasper's Appalachian Regional Grant funds have to be spent solely for extending the sewer line to the business park.

"After that takes place and the grant requirements and provisions have been met, if customers wish to connect, they can contact the town," he said.

Nearby residents and businesses probably will have to wait until at least July before the city can offer connections to the sewer line, Cosby said.

"We have to be careful because of the terms of this grant," Raines said. "As many provisions [for future connections] are being made as possible, but we can't violate the terms of the grant. We don't want to lose that grant."

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