Oak Ridge officials have asked Anderson County to consider donating up to 2.05 acres on Emory Valley Road for a sewer system holding tank east of the former Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Oak Ridge to stop all sewer system overflows by 2015, and studies have shown that several holding tanks are required at critical locations “to equalize and detain excess flow during heavy rain events,” Public Works Director Gary Cinder said in a July 26 memo. One equalization tank would be required near the county-owned Daniel Arthur Center, which is used by satellite county offices, the Oak Ridge Senior Center, and the Emory Valley Center.
The Anderson County Operations Committee will consider the request during a Monday evening meeting.
Cinder said the tank—which could be about 125 feet in diameter with a sidewall height of roughly 22 feet, and a covered dome that rises another 12 feet at the center of the tank—would fill with excess flows only during heavy rains. It would be emptied within a few days after a heavy rain as “capacity in the downstream sewers becomes available,” Cinder said.
“It should be noted that while technically the material is considered sewage, it is predominantly storm water that has leaked into the sewer system and exceeding its capacity to carry it to the treatment plant,” he said.
The city has asked the county for the land at the intersection of Fairbanks and Emory Valley roads to build the tank and an associated pump station. In return, the city would agree to take over the storm water detention pond at the site and perform required maintenance on the pond and surrounding land.
“This would eliminate the need for county maintenance forces to have to traverse the tank site to maintain the pond,” Cinder said.
He said the city doesn’t need the entire 2.05 acres if the county wants to keep the wooded area to the north of the tank.
Cinder said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank gave Oak Ridge permission to perform soil borings on the site to determine its ability to support the structure.
“It was found to be very acceptable,” he said.
Also Monday, the Operations Committee will consider buying the old Bank of America building in Lake City to serve as the new home of the Coal Miner’s Museum, a vault for excess county records, and to provide another satellite location for county offices including the Clerk and the Trustee, who would be able to make use of the existing drive-through window, according to WYSH Radio in Clinton. Bank of America has said they want $100,000 for the property, and the proposed purchase has the support of the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation and the Lake City government as well as several other entities, WYSH said.
The Operations Committee will also consider a funding proposal for an Economic Development Fund approved in June by the County Commission.
Anderson County Economic Development Agency President Tim Thompson’s proposal calls for the funding to come from 5 percent of the amount of yearly property tax increases from the county’s existing industrial parks. The money would be used by ACEDA in the recruitment of new companies and existing industries to either locate or expand their facilities through enticements such as grants or loans for retrofitting or demolishing buildings, relocating equipment, repairs and infrastructure improvement, just to name a few, WYSH said. To be eligible for funding, companies would have to meet the requirements of 25 points on the county’s recently developed PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) matrix, and there would be a $300,000 cap on funding qualifying projects. Thompson’s proposal calls for using $300,000 in revenues from the pending sale of county industrial property to be used as the initial funding for the Economic Development Fund.
The Operations Committee meets at 6 p.m. Monday in Room 312 of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton. The agenda is available here.