Re-imagined sewer project still faces uphill climb

10:00 am | August 21, 2013

After an original price tag that topped $20 million, the city and county joint economic development board has begun to Photo by Brandon Hicksre-examine the scope of the Roan Mountain sewer project.

On Tuesday afternoon, Carter County Tomorrow President Tom Anderson briefed members of his executive board on the re-imagining of a centralized sewer system in Roan Mountain.

While Anderson said progress is being made, he acknowledged the process would still take time.

“It’s not exactly glacial pace, but it’s getting real close to it, and that is best-case scenario,” Anderson said. “We’re still a couple of years out from realizing this, but right now we’ve got to get all the pieces together.”

The first piece Anderson addressed involved the residents of Roan Mountain. He provided the board with details of his meeting with the Roan Mountain Citizens Club and representatives from the engineering firm of Tysinger, Hampton & Partners, Inc.

“(The RMCC) did not want any elected officials to come, because they wanted frank and open discussion,” Anderson said. “It allows the citizens to hear about the sewer project. We’re trying to do it from the grassroots … and make sure that everyone knows we’re not trying to do a widespread sewer project that’s going to take in residential (properties) and everything else.”

The original idea for the project was designed as a “widespread” system that would have not only connected most of Roan Mountain, but it would have also required that the sewer line travel more than 30 miles to connect to Elizabethton’s system.

The estimated costs for that project came in at more than $22 million, and was deemed too expensive to undertake.

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