Town adopts streets, sewers

Crothersville council grants requests from residents, developer

CROTHERSVILLE

Wishes have been granted for residents in a Crothersville subdivision and a developer in another area of town.

The town council recently approved adding Main Street Circle and a continuation of Walnut Street to the street inventory and accepting the sewers.

In September, some of the residents living on Main Street Circle requested the town pave the street and add street lights. Since the addition was established nearly 20 years ago, it has been privately owned. The street has never been paved and street lights weren’t installed, but homes have been hooked up to the town’s sewer line.

And late last year, a southern Indiana real estate developer asked the town to accept an unpaved portion of East Walnut Street and the sewer so he could establish a 12-home addition. Because of a long history of drainage issues in that area, though, the council didn’t adopt the street or sewer.

At this month’s meeting, the council changed its tune after hearing from town attorney Jeff Lorenzo and engineering consultant Brad Bender with FPBH Inc.

“I think from a legal standpoint, you could separate the two (streets and sewers), but I don’t know from a practical standpoint, an engineering standpoint, how you would do that,” Lorenzo told the council.

Lorenzo said adopting the street but not the sewer would make it difficult for town employees if they had to repair one and not the other.

Bender agreed, especially considering the areas are hooked into the town’s sewer line.

“If all they were paying for is treatment, that would be a different story,” Bender said. “But if they are paying the same bill everybody else pays, then they are paying for the lines in the ground, too. The appearance is there that it is a public sewer, and it is your public sewer.

“You would be hard-pressed to say it’s not yours at this point in time,” he said. “You could go through the exercise of running the camera (through the sewer line) and doing some other things, but I honestly don’t think it’s going to make a difference.”

Council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson asked if a camera had been run through the sewer on Main Street Circle to see if it is in good shape and if a cost to install lights had been determined. The answer to both questions was no.

He also asked about the compaction of the continuation of Walnut Street before pavement could be laid down and if the engineer who put in the sewer had done it properly and had a permit to hook to the town’s line.

Robinson and Street Superintendent Chris Mains both said they weren’t aware of any issues with the sewers on either of the streets.

A couple of the council members said when they initially voted against accepting the sewer on Walnut Street, their only issues were with drainage. Mains responded that there are drainage issues in other areas of the town.

“If (the developer) starts putting houses in there and runs water off on somebody else, what are we going to do then? Is it our problem or his problem?” Councilman Bob Lyttle asked.

The town has an ordinance preventing residents from running water off onto a neighbor’s property.

Robinson said the developer has claimed he would bring in dirt to raise up the area around the homes so water drains. One house is expected to be placed by the end of the year and two more after the first part of 2018.

“Just make sure any development follows the stormwater ordinance, and best practices need to be done,” Bender said.

Robinson said a positive to adding the streets to the town’s inventory is the opportunity to receive state funding for paving or repairs.

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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.