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  • Uebelhor

G'town, New Albany deal may be near


August 19, 2009
In an agreement being studied and fine-tuned by both parties, Georgetown and New Albany may be close to settling their differences on wastewater treatment.

Terms of the agreement were released last week and include a sewer rate increase of 3 percent per year for the residents of Georgetown for each year the town remains on New Albany's sewer system. Georgetown will also pay New Albany $25,000 instead of the $450,000 fine called for in the previous agreement.

Georgetown officials reviewed the new offer Friday evening at a special meeting of the town council.

"We actually approved a different version of the agreement New Albany sent us," Council President Billy Stewart said. "We wanted some clearer language on some details. We signed it and sent it back to New Albany, to make sure the changes are agreeable to them. We just felt that everything should be clearly stated."

The former agreement called for Georgetown to pay New Albany a fine of $450,000 if Georgetown didn't succeed in building its own wastewater treatment plant and getting off the New Albany system by this summer. New Albany also planned to charge Georgetown retail, instead of wholesale, prices for its wastewater treatment.

"We essentially agreed to pay the $25,000," Stewart said. "But we will also remain as a wholesale customer instead of retail and will receive a 3-percent increase in the rates we now pay for wastewater treatment. This agreement will also give us five additional years to get our wastewater treatment plant built."

The agreement also calls for Georgetown to be fined $450,000 if the town fails to complete its new treatment plant by the end of five years.

"But if New Albany raises sewer rates on its own customers, we will have an increase, as well," Stewart said. "And we agreed to give New Albany half of our tap-on fees, but there's not many available and we get no new capacity, so they will be limited."

Stewart said that Georgetown has gotten appraisals back on two pieces of property the town is considering purchasing for the new treatment plant.

"Landowners have ap-proached us about selling property to the town for the plant," Stewart said. "So, we'll be able to move forward now."

The town purchased a 23-acre site, known as the O'Brien property, where it hoped to build a treatment plant but was met with opposition from neighboring Edwardsville residents who challenged the annexation of the property and zoning changes. Plans for the site have not been made public.

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