News and Tribune

January 19, 2013

Jeffersonville Sewer Board hears multiple requests on land needed for projects

Board not ready to absolve money owed on property needed by state for bridge work

By BRADEN LAMMERS
braden.lammers@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — Jeffersonville’s Sewer Board looked to clear the purchase of several properties Thursday.

Settlement agreements were sought on a few remaining properties required to be purchased to be able to install the city’s combined sewer overflow interceptor and another project sought to release sewer liens in order for the state to purchase property near Interstate 65.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is still working on securing its last pieces of property in order to move forward on construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

In order for the state to purchase a portion of four properties near where the new I-65 bridge will come through, a request was submitted to the sewer board to release sewer liens on the properties. All four liens are on businesses in the same development near the McCauley Nicolas building.

City officials explained that the state needs to have the liens resolved in order to purchase the portion of the properties sought.

But with the small amount of money owed on the liens, Sewer Board Attorney Scott Lewis said the city should try and recover what is owed to them.

“They’re all businesses,” he said. “If they’re not bankrupt businesses ... I don’t know why the businesses can’t pay it.”

The lien amounts owed range from $385 to $260.

The sewer board agreed 2-0, with Sewer Board Member Bill Saegesser absent, to table a decision on absolving the money owed and to try and contact the businesses to pay their bills.

Two acquisitions related to the city’s interceptor project were also approved by the sewer board, but some hurdles exist before one deal is finalized.

An offer for two properties — 217 and 219 W. Maple Street — was made after an appraiser investigated there were two allowable structures on the site.

Attorney Amy Burnette explained that a special zoning designation would allow for two structures to be built on the narrow lots, which increased the appraisal amount from $25,900 to $38,000.

The property owner had agreed to accept $34,000 plus the transfer of a property on Meigs Avenue that was appraised for $2,800.

“We can’t do anything with it,” said Mayor Mike Moore of the property on Meigs Avenue. “[It’s] $4,000 under appraisal and we give him a piece of property we can’t do anything with ... so we’re still saving $1,200.”

However, another hurdle is that the sewer board does not currently own the property on Meigs Avenue. It is owned by the city. In order to transfer the title, the city entities must pass a matching resolution, deeding it to the sewer board in order to finalize the settlement.

The sewer board passed the resolution contingent upon the Jeffersonville City Council passing a matching resolution transferring the title at its next meeting, which is Tuesday.

The other property secured was at 214 W. Maple St. at a settlement amount of $25,000.



Approval of increased capacity

The sewer board approved accepting 7,750 gallons-per-day of increased capacity to allow for the third phase of a subdivision development to connect to the city’s sewer system.

Kevin Taft, with Blankenbeker and Sons Inc., was on-hand to make the request for Premier Homes, the developer of the subdivision. Woods of Northaven off Snyder Drive in Jeffersonville is preparing to develop phase three of the subdivision, which will consist of 25 new lots, with about 12 new homes expected to be constructed per year.

The request to add the capacity to the sewer system the new homes will need in order to be constructed was unanimously approved.



Water concerns

Ann Graham said issues with a pumping station on Church Street has led to the flooding of her basement and asked the sewer board to help her resolve the problem.

A natural drainage next to the pumping station was redirected more than a year ago and when heavy rains occur, Graham said overflow is pumped onto her property.

She said it is not normally a problem that the water has been diverted onto her fields, but during especially heavy rains water comes into her basement.

The sewer board agreed to work with Graham to help find a solution.