Board seeking loan to repair, extend sewer on south side of Highway 64

The Oakland Board of Mayor and Aldermen is seeking a state loan to repair and extend sewer lines along the south side of Highway 64.
At its Sept. 17 regular monthly meeting, on a motion offered by Alderman Billy Ray Morris and seconded by Alderman John Troncone, the board unanimously adopted a resolution to apply for a $1 million loan from the State Revolving Fund Program. It is seeking $700,000 for the repairs and $300,000 for the extension.
The resolution states that, because “chronic overflows” of untreated wastewater have occurred at 7540 Highway 64, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has placed a “self-imposed moratorium” on connections to the sanitary sewer. It notes that this will result in “minimal” future building permits upstream from that location.
The resolution also states that approximately 3,200 feet of “valuable but un-sewered” commercial property exists on the south side of the highway between Beau Tisdale Drive and Vale Road.
The Oakland Planning Commission has approved the Preliminary Plat for the Wellington Place subdivision, contingent upon a solution to transporting the associated wastewater to the town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The resolution states that a loan from the SRFP would fund sewer extension along the highway, which could relieve the overflows and resolve some “related issues.”
During discussion shortly before the vote, Alderman Karl Chambless noted that the sewer line repair is designed to avoid “expensive and excessive” fines levied by the state.
“But while we’re still at it,” he said, “we may as well go ahead and do the extension, which would open up development and persons hooking onto that system.”
Chambless said the board could subsequently adopt a “follow-up” resolution stating that certain “fees” would be required for any hook-ups. He believes that would “recoup a good bit” of the funds spent.
But Mayor Chris Goodman noted that the resolution is designed to just start the application process.
“If we’re accepted and receive the loan,” he said, “that will come back to you in a resolution to sign that contract.”
When Morris asked whether the board should notify TDEC that Oakland is in the process of resolving the overflow issue, Goodman noted that the town has submitted a plan to the state.
“If we have an issue of another overflow, and they come down here,” the mayor said, “that’s when we pull out the resolutions and the state application to show that we’re not taking it lightly.”
Alderman Kelly Rector asked Goodman to bring the board some information about what sewer tap fee amount would be charged to recoup some of the cost of the extension. But the mayor said that would be more like a “special tax” specified for that.
Chambless noted that Oakland currently charges a $2,500 fee whenever someone hooks onto the town’s sewerage system. To recoup the extension cost, he said, the board could approve an amendment or an “addendum” stating that a certain fee must be paid in order to hook up.