Johnson City will update citizens on Upper Reedy Creek sewer project

David Floyd • Updated Sep 20, 2019 at 10:07 PM

Nearby residents will learn more next week about a Johnson City sewer line project that one Boones Creek couple is concerned will cut through their property.

Johnson City will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal & Safety Building, 601 E. Main St., for property owners in the vicinity of the proposed Upper Reedy Creek sewer line expansion project. Attendees will review and discuss preliminary plans for the installation of the sanitary sewer line.

City Manager Pete Peterson said residents will be presented with the 60% plans for the expansion, which will graphically represent the survey information gathered for the project.

“It’s a long way from construction documents, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the likely routes to follow in order to provide service to the areas we need to get service, too,” he said.

The plans will be laid out on easels or tables for viewing by residents. Staff from the water and sewer service department will be there along with representatives from Mattern & Craig, the consultant hired to put together the preliminary and final designs for the project. Peterson said the city contacted all directly impacted property owners.

“We’ll talk about the need for the project, the request that we’ve gotten for sanitary sewer service in that area and then we’ll walk people through some of the proposed routing for the line and give people the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and suggestions,” Peterson said.

Peterson said the final route has not been determined yet and said there’s still a lot of leeway for changes.

“At this point we’re open to discussion and dialogue with everybody about whatever they want to talk about,” he said.

The city is moving forward with the project in anticipation of increased development in the area spurred by the opening of a new pre-K-8 school in Boones Creek.

Tom Witherspoon, the director of water and sewer services at the city, said in August that the city is aiming to bring sanitary sewer service to the Reedy Creek drainage basin, which currently has limited service and capacity. Over the past five years, he said the city has received inquiries about expanding sewer service to that area to support further development.

“About the only one that’s missing out there is sanitary sewer service,” Witherspoon said in August.

Rhonnie and Randy Miller, who live on Keefauver Road in Boones Creek, learned about the project in May after surveyors from Mattern & Craig made an unannounced visit to the couple’s property.

The Millers are concerned that the sewer line will end up cutting across their small farm.

“I hope that at this meeting they actually follow through with telling us how this plan is supposed to develop,” Rhonnie Miller said Friday, “because we haven’t learned any of that from the city so far.”

She participated a neighborhood meeting in early September that drew about 40 people and plans on being at the city meeting on Tuesday. Miller said she hopes to receive a better explanation from the city about why they’re looking at this path for the project.

“We still have no understanding why the project needs to go where it’s going,” she said. “It just doesn’t make good sense to any of us.”

Peterson said the city has made some alterations during the development of the 60% plans based on comments from the Millers and other residents.

“As we get comments and questions from people, if there’s an opportunity to move the line one way or the other to lessen the impact on a particular piece of property, we will certainly take that into consideration,” Peterson said.

Where it can, Peterson said the city will place the line in the existing public right of way.

“We’re ... taking every effort possible to minimize the impact on private property,” he said.

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