News and Tribune

May 22, 2013

Clarksville, Colgate working to fix drainage issues

Town had previously threatened site owners with fines for stormwater infiltration



The Clarksville Town Council voted unanimously Monday to pay for designs for new sewer lines at the former Colgate-Palmolive Co. property, which officials hope will help move along development at the site. 

The council approved an estimated $16,000 contract with HDR Inc. to design a new sewer line extending up from Woerner Avenue to South Clark Boulevard in front of the land.

Boston Development, which owns the property, had previously been threatened with fines because stormwater from the property was infiltrating the town’s sanitary sewer system. Officials say that they are working on an agreement whereby the Colgate property’s current sewer line near Montgomery Avenue would be capped off and replaced with the proposed lines. 

“This is a major step forward in moving that project along,” Councilman John Gilkey said. “Rather than concentrating on what kind of fines we’re going to impose for stormwater outflow, the council has taken a proactive position to say we’re going to go in and we’re going to solve the problem. We’re going to create a situation where everybody wins. This is the first real step down the road to development of that property, in my opinion.”

Gilkey is working with attorney Rebecca Lockard and project coordinator Brittany Montgomery to finalize the language of the document. Once the document is prepared, Council President Bob Polston has been authorized by the council to sign it on behalf of the town and send it to Boston Development.

“We’ll sign that, and I expect that the construction will start pretty quickly on that line,” Polston said.  

The former Colgate facility still needs to pass building and fire inspections before Boston Development can obtain a certificate of occupancy and begin wooing tenants. However, Polston said he feels the town has worked to improve its relationship with the Colgate property’s owners. 



The council unanimously approved the $55,000 purchase of new gasoline pumps and equipment to track fuel usage by city vehicles. The pumps will be installed at Clarksville Town Hall and the town’s street department. 

“It’s extremely important. The equipment that we have now is nearing the end of its functional life, and is not up-to-date with the latest technology,” Gilkey said. “The new equipment will allow us to better track usage of fuel through those pumps and give us a much better control on the overall operation.”



It looks like the Clarksville Police Department’s experiment with 12-hour shifts for its officers has been declared a success, and will likely be voted to be made permanent at the council’s next meeting, Gilkey said. 

“Chief [Mark] Palmer, during our work session, told us that he had gone into the trial period as a skeptic, that he was not sure this was going to work to the best advantage of the department,” Gilkey said. “And he told us last night he was wrong. It seems to have worked very well. There’s a cost savings to the town by going to these shifts. The morale of the department as a whole is much better.”

When asked about the chances of the 12-hour shifts being made the department’s policy by a vote of the council, Gilkey responded, “I don’t think there’s any question.”