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Questions about White Estates sewer project continue

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Questions and suggestions continued to surface during the final scheduled public informational meeting on the White Estates sewer project Tuesday night.

Arguments against the court-ordered $6.4 million project were virtually non-existent, but concerns were raised from residents in the subdivision just south of New Castle about basements, garage projects now underway and the hiring of contractors needed to do the work.

A suggestion was also offered by a New Castle City councilman to help officials add a layer of control concerning installation of grinder pumps and connections to the lines.

It was the most sparsely attended meeting of the three held to date, with about 15 people gathering inside the old circuit courtroom of the Henry County Courthouse.

Questions included “Will the new sewer line go down the center of streets?”

“Close to it,” answered New Castle Mayor Greg York.

Another question was, “How will homes with basements be affected by the construction of the lines?”

York said between City Building Inspector Kenny Dale Melton (also a plumber) and City Engineer Dave Barker, residents can rest assured the work will be “done right” and that every effort would be made to work around whatever obstacles or situations individual homes may have.

Others wanted to known when construction would start.  

York said construction would start in December. He also set the record straight on when billing will start. According to Lisa Lee of Ice Miller, homeowners in White Estates would not start paying the additional $33.18 per month until the entire project is completed in December, 2019.

City council member Lynn Perdue proposed adding between $3 and $3.50 per month to the $33.18 surcharge. That extra amount would, according to Perdue, cover the costs of installing grinder pumps and connecting individual homes to the new sewer.

“That way there’d be no additional cost up front to any of the homeowers and also we could control the process, make sure all of the electrical was done by code and inspected,” Perdue said. “If we leave it up to the homeowners, some might think they are qualified when they are not. I’m not totally comfortable with all of that. I’d rather see it all controlled by our building inspector and our city engineer.”

York again emphasized to those present that while the city was taking a key role in the White Estates sewer project, it should in no way be interpreted as a move to eventually annex the subdivision.

“You would have better odds of being annexed to Lewisville,” York said.

York also reminded everyone that 100 percent participation is required in the White Estates project. Entry into the sewer line now being used will be filled with concrete so it can never again be used for sewer purposes. York said the existing line would be turned into a storm drain.

“If somebody decides not to hook up to this new sewer, they’re going to be cut off,” York said. “How do you sell a house with no sewer connection?”

Individual meetings with homeowners in White Estates will be scheduled in the near future, according to city officials.