published Monday, March 25th, 2013

Jasper, Tenn., OKs sewer inspection

JASPER, Tenn. — While in the midst of a state-mandated sewer rehabilitation project, workers discovered other problems in Jasper's lines.

"It was a case where you see a lot of clear water at one manhole," Gary Cosby, an engineer with CTI Engineers Inc., said, "then you go up a manhole or two, and there's nothing. So you know there's something going on between them."

That "something" is costing Jasper money every time it rains, officials said.

The Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently agreed to a video inspection of about 4,000 feet of sewer line. The cost is $6,000, or $1.50 per foot.

Mayor Paul Evans said he's worried about the effect on the budget.

"I just wanted to make sure that we don't throw ourselves over, because this money was not budgeted for this project," he said. "But it's something that we need to do."

Finance Officer Mark Johnson said the expense is unlikely to "wreck" the budget.

Whenever the city discovers what the problem is, Alderman Steve Looney said, the board will have to spend more money to fix it.

The sewers must be addressed in the next budget, he said.

The sewer rehabilitation project was started in 2010 and projected to cost about $175,000.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has ordered that project to be completed by July 2014, officials said, but the newly discovered problems must be fixed, too.

"We need to do this so we know what the problems are and how to fix them," Cosby said. "We need to put together a project that includes the manhole repairs and whatever we find that needs to be fixed between these manhole segments."

Evans said there is a possibility city workers can fix the problems.

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