Developer fails to gain town’s acceptance of sewer for proposed housing addition

Leaving Tuesday night’s Crothersville Town Council meeting, Matthew Conway didn’t get what he anticipated.

To establish a 12-home addition in the 600 block of East Walnut Street in Crothersville, the southern Indiana real estate developer hoped to have the town accept the sewer, which currently is privately owned.

After about 45 minutes of discussion between Conway, four members of the council and a few town residents, council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson made a motion to accept the sewer. That motion, however, died when he didn’t receive a second.

Robinson said he was OK with adopting the sewer line because Mason Boicourt, the town’s wastewater superintendent, had tested it. He also knows the person who put in the sewer line and drains a few decades ago and felt those are OK, and he felt Conway would ensure water continues to drain the way it should.

Some of the other council members and residents, though, weren’t as confident about water properly draining.

“When is the last time you had a new house built in this area?” Conway asked. “I’m talking about doing an $800,000 development up here, and you all are pushing me away for some dirt?”

He was referring to bringing in dirt to raise up the area around the homes so water drains.

“I have investors that want to come up here and bring brand-new homes,” Conway said. “That school right up there, you know how many of those kids could walk to school (from the addition)?”

Rex Kovert, who lives just north of the proposed addition and owns 65 acres, said Conway can’t guarantee everyone who buys one of the homes would have kids attend Crothersville Community Schools.

“But I’m going to guarantee they pay taxes, and I’m going to guarantee it’s a brand-new freakin’ home here, and I’m going to guarantee you’re going to have $800,000 in revenue with it sold on this property,” Conway said.

“You know what? I don’t need this permission to come here (and build). I’ll take on that freakin’ water line and build those houses,” Conway said.

“I don’t know if you’ve got the temperament to do the job,” Kovert replied.

“I’m honestly going to still do it,” Conway said. “I really think that it’ll make it, and I’m going to do it. I was just hoping to get the sewer.”

Conway can move forward with the housing addition without the town’s acceptance of the sewer. He would just have to pay the $350 fee to tap into it and incur costs if any repairs need to be made in the future because of a sewer-related issue.

Read the full story in Saturday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.