DUNCAN — The ongoing debate for a public sewage lift station in the Stagestand Creek drainage mini-basin has finally come to a close. With a vote of 3-2, the council decided to accept the amendment that will allow for the privately built lift station to be accepted and presented as a public lift station and connected to a public sewage disposal system in the Claridy Creek drainage basin.
The debate on the lift station has been drawn out over several months for land development owner Jim Edwards. Edwards can continue pursuing his development of Stonebridge housing edition.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Edwards said. “It’s a weight off our shoulders now.”
Edwards said that the next step for him in development is getting the plans and plots out to potential owners.
“We’ve been holding off until we got the results from this before we began letting people pick their lots,” Edwards said. “We’re ready to let people start picking.”
The amendment will not only allow Edwards to hook Stonebridge developments up to the lift station, but since it will now be a public system, other citizens in the area have the option to tap on to the line if they wish. Edwards didn’t seem concerned though.
Edwards said that development takes a considerable amount of time and that he is hopeful that before capacity is met on the public system, the city will have a functioning sewer line in that area since Duncan continues to grow north.
Edwards said that he didn’t think there were many houses in the area to affect the public sewer system. Had Edwards been able to proceed with a private system it would have been easier, but due to DEQ regulations, they recommended that they try for the public system.
“Now we can get started on getting things done,” Edwards said.
Council members voting against the amendment were Mayor Gene Brown and Councilman Carl Bowers. Both addressed the situation saying that they didn’t think it was the right time nor circumstances to feel comfortable on voting for the issue.
“I think in the long run, it’s too expensive for the city to handle,” Bowers said. “If we start making exceptions, we’ll have to open it up to everybody.
“I think it will be something well and good if the city had the money to work with, but there are too many other pressing things to take care of and not enough money to do it with at this time.”
However, cost is not a factor for the lift station, as Edwards is paying to have it constructed, and upon completion will turn it over to the city. Edwards also said that this housing development will bring business and new tax money into the community, helping Duncan grow.
He estimated that the additional development of homes would bring an additional tax base of $37 million dollars in to the city of Duncan should the housing development be completed. It will also supply close to 1,200 construction jobs.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Edwards said.
The council was unanimous in declaring it an emergency for immediate execution.
The city also considered and approved a request from Main Street Duncan in relation to City Board appointments. Members selected by the city to the Main Street Board were Mike Stuckert, Pam Bruehl, Jason Foster, Shawn Lockstone and Bobby Richardson.
The consent agenda was unanimously approved minus an approval to purchase a frontend loader from OCT equipment for the price of $106,800. Council members saw it fit that in light of the recent winter weather, money should be conserved wherever possible. Public Works Director Scott Vaughn was asked what the purpose was for the equipment. Vaughn said that it was intended to “replace a piece of equipment that was on its last legs.” However, he did say that Public Works could still function without it, and it was not a necessary purchase.
It was noted by City Manager Clyde Shaw that the money intended for the frontend loader was part of a capital improvements fund, and that if they decided to hold the purchase, that money could not be used to help pay for any storm related issues. Nonetheless, the council saw it fit to pull the item from the consent agenda.
— Kevin Kerr is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 147, or via e-mail at email@example.com.