Hustonville approves final sewer agreement

HUSTONVILLE – After a final review of the sewer contract between Hustonville and the Lincoln County Sanitation District, council members approved the contract Tuesday night.

In December, Hustonville City Council members met with representatives from the sanitation district to review some of Hustonville’s concerns with the sewer contract.

Initially, Hustonville had agreed to operate and maintain the new sewer system but council members were concerned with the amount of liability and extra work for the city and pulled out of that portion of the contract.

Hustonville remains the billing entity for the sewer system, however.

Councilman Jimmy Evans expressed hesitance to sign the agreement in December before making sure Hustonville City Clerk Rita Clem will be appropriately compensated for the extra work it will require for her to put each new sewer customer into the system.

Under the contract, the city will receive .70 cents from each sewer bill, with about 600 customers estimated to join the new system. The sanitation district agreed to offer a $10 compensation per new customer with $5 going to Clem and $5 going to the Hustonville Water Department.

Tuesday night, Hustonville council members agreed that for now, the $10 compensation will suffice but once the 24-month trial period for the contract is over, members want the ability to renegotiate the contract if they deem it necessary.

Council members agreed once the project is underway and both the sanitation district and the city sees how everything operates, they can come back to the table if they want to renegotiate.

“I’d like to see us get the best deal for the city in two years,” Councilman Evans said.

The final contract allows either entity to terminate the contract with or without cause after the 24-month trial with 180 days written notice given, according to City Attorney Jonathan Baker.

The original contract required a 90-day written notice but the sanitation district asked for 180 days notice in order to have ample time to secure a new billing entity, Baker said.

“Once we get through the two years, we’ll know where we stand,” said Mayor David Peyton.

Another issue council members voiced Tuesday night was the condition in which roads were left after the project – which they argue is a responsibility of the sanitation district’s to repair.

Peyton agreed and said considering the current time of year, it would be best to wait until spring to see if the sanitation district has the funds left over to cover the road repair.

While the majority of roads were returned to their original state, the main road in question is Danville Pike, north of the four-way stop on Main Street which travels toward the Hustonville Elementary School.

“It’s pretty rough,” Peyton said. “I don’t anticipate us being able to plow that section this winter. We’ll tear the road all to pieces and tear our plow all to pieces.”

At a previous meeting, Peyton said a last resort option for the city is to use state road aid money to fix the roads.

“I’m pretty comfortable that once this is done, by spring when the blacktop plants open again, I think they’re going to find they (sanitation district) have just enough money left in their budget somewhere to repave that road,” Peyton said.

Councilman Cecil Maddox suggested getting something in writing from the sanitation district.

“It’s not right for the City of Hustonville to take our state aid money that we get to fix something that the sewer has destroyed,” Maddox said.

Peyton said the sanitation district won’t know until the final project numbers come in but he agrees they should pay for the repair and believes they will, come spring.

“We always have the option of filing a lawsuit. That’s the last option and I don’t want to go that route, but it’s always an option,” Peyton said. “We can’t do anything now as far as blacktop.”

The council agreed to wait until spring to see if the sanitation district has the funds to repair.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the final sewer contract.

In other business, the council: 

• Reappointed Jimmy Lane to the Lincoln County Ambulance Board.