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February 23, 2013

French Quarter lift station must be fixed before Jeffersonville takes control

Sewer board members worried about agreed order with IDEM

JEFFERSONVILLE — At a brief Jeffersonville Sewer Board meeting, another agreed order from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management was discussed. However, the order was not a requirement that the city must meet, but an agreement between the state and a private entity.

The owner of the French Quarter Apartments off Middle Road in Jeffersonville is under an agreed order with IDEM for violations of the Clean Water Act. As a result, the property owner has asked the city for assistance in repairing a lift station on its property, which it would subsequently hand over to the city.

“Historically, they’ve had problems with their lift station,” said Jeffersonville Wastewater Superintendent Len Ashack. “In order for us to take over that lift station ... he has to make some improvements.”

Ashack said the city could help repair the lift station that is out-of-date and in disrepair.

“There’s a lot of issues with the lift station,” said City Engineer Andy Crouch. “It has to be repaired. He’s looking for help, is what he’s looking for. This really needs to be taken over by the city; we just don’t want to take over the liability.”

Crouch added that the matter was complicated because French Quarter and an adjoining apartment complex, La Casitas, both use the same lift station. While the sewer board agreed it should take over the lift station, it was hesitant to do so until the issues with the agreed order have been addressed.

“I totally agree that we should take over any private lift station that we can because private owners don’t maintain it and that’s going to end up getting us in trouble,” said Sewer Board Member Bill Saegesser. “However ... what concerns me is they’re currently under an agreed order for violation of the Clean Water Act of federal law. I don’t see why we should get involved with that until they completely clear up that agreed order.”

The rest of the board agreed and will consider taking control of the lift station after French Quarter is in compliance with the agreed order.

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