Thursday, June 15, 2000

Ky. sewer alternative pricey

Gallatin option $18M more than site in Boone Co.

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT WRIGHT — Officials from Boone and Gallatin counties met with sanitation district members and engineers for 11/2 hours Wednesday and concluded that it would cost too much to locate a new regional sewer treatment facility in Steele Bottoms in Gallatin County rather than at a proposed Boone County site.

        The consensus: Steele Bottoms would add approximately $18 million to the projected cost of $120 million to $140 million to build the Boone County system on some privately owned property in western Boone Coun ty.

        Sanitation District No. 1 is expected to decide at its next meeting, June 27, whether to begin condemnation proceedings on the property, which is in Belleview Bottoms.

        “There's no sense in going farther,” said Gallatin County Judge-executive George Zubaty.

        “They've shown that the expense is too great. And to pay for the expense, Sanitation District No. 1 would have to go to its customers and ask them to pay more. It's not an option now.”

        Some Belleview residents had hoped the inquiry would help their case and move the plant out of western Boone County.

        “The numbers just did not work,” said Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore, adding that he would continue to help explore options other than the property in Belleview Bottoms until the condemnation vote.

        “We are closely reaching the point of no return,” Mr. Moore said. “I don't want any of this to cause the people in Belleview to have false hope.”

        The property the sanitation district wants belongs to landowner Don Stites. He joined other residents in a lawsuit to stop the plant in October.

        Wednesday was the last day sanitation officials gave Mr. Stites to agree to sell his property to them. Mr. Stites said he has hired a new attorney and will continue to fight the sanitation district.

        “Our attitude is, we do not want to sell,” he said. “It's a very firm, continuing attitude.”

        The next step: Sanitation board members are expected to consider a resolution that would begin condemnation proceedings at the June 27 meeting. Also, sanitation board members are expected to vote on the draft regional facilities plan for sewer improvements throughout Northern Kentucky over the next 20 years.


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