Georgetown moved one step closer Tuesday night to building its own sewer treatment plant.

The town board unanimously approved a petition to annex 57 acres of land along Interstate 64 which also includes 22 acres at 5335 Old Georgetown Road that will be the site of the proposed sewer treatment plant.

The town has faced opposition from the outset from a group of residents who formed Edwardsville Community Inc. The group opposes the construction of a sewer plant in the area known as Edwardsville. They cite smell as the primary reason why they oppose the plant.

However, members of the Georgetown Town Board said it is a necessity.

“This will allow us to control our own destiny,” board member Jay Davis said.

Currently, the town pays New Albany $2.88 per thousand gallons to treat its sewage. That usually runs between $15,000 to $20,000 a month. And that rate will likely go up, according to Board President Gary Smith.

“We’re behind the eight ball,” Smith said after the meeting. “We can stay with New Albany, and not be guaranteed anything, or we can build our own plant. If we stay with New Albany, we will continue to see our rates increase.”

Prior to Tuesday night’s vote, a public hearing was held May 18 where residents were allowed to voice their concerns. However, none of those concerns were strong enough to keep the board from unanimously approving the plan to annex.

Smith said the group against the proposed sewer plant may try to place an injunction on the project. However, he said he is confident the construction will move forward. He hopes to break ground in August or September.

“I have always thought we did the right thing,” he said. “They have the right to object, but we have to do what we have to do to help the town move forward.”

Edwardsville Community Inc. has hired attorney John Kraft who is considering numerous options which include incorporating Edwardsville. However, Smith said that will have no effect on whether Georgetown builds a sewer treatment plant now that the necessary land has been annexed.

“If they do incorporate, they can’t stop us,” he said.

Kraft told the group that opposes the plant at an earlier meeting that annexation may not be in their best interest.

“I don’t believe that would be the remedy to deal with the current issue of a sewer treatment plant,” Kraft told the group. “You would have to go through too many hoops and their would be a lot of expense.”

Judy Gresham, one of the organizers of Edwardsville Community Inc., has said that the construction of a sewer plant would lower property values in the area.

“We have a lot of support here,” she said. “We just want to be left alone.”

Georgetown Town Manager Kenton Griffin said the town board is aware of the concerns of residents which is why they purchased 23 acres — for $350,000 — for the site of the plant in order to create a buffer.

He also said the plant is currently in the design phase.

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