Local Residents Upset Over Proposed Sewer

Knoxville (WVLT) - Families in East Knox County say a possible sewage system near their homes stinks. The new system is for the proposed midway road business project. The county re-zoned more than 300 acres of rural land last year, and neighbors who say they fought that decision say they'll continue to fight every step of the way.

The rolling hills. The waving pastures. It's home sweet home for John Bohon.

"Well that's the problem, you see. I moved down here because I like the area."

But that area near his East Knox County house will soon get a makeover.

"I'm going to look out my window and see an industrial park, parking lot, and buildings," Bohon says.

That's because the county's re-zoned 378 acres off Thorngrove Pike and Midway Road for a 33-million dollar Business Park.

"Progress is only good if people want the progress," Bohon continues.

And Bohon and around 75 of his neighbors don't. Tonight they voiced concerns about the project, specifically how the waste water plans stink.

"It's hard to tell where the water seeps when it drains away," Bohon says.

The Development Corporation of Knox County looked at five possibilities.

"It appears treating it on site would be a great opportunity for the entire park," Mike Edwards says.

The 4-million dollar price tag also makes it the cheapest. But the county could build an entirely new plant along the French Broad River. That would treat sewage for the site and the county.

"Both of those solutions are of no threat to their well water and to sink holes," Edwards says.

But homeowners worry the new sewage pipes only lay the foundation for more businesses and homes.

"It looks like the whole thing's about tax revenue," Bohon says.

"Sewers do imply that it's going to be the precursor to a lot of willy nilly development. That's not necessarily the case," Edwards says.

Some question if the county should be plan at all. Neighbors filed a lawsuit against the re-zoning. That's still not come to trial.

"It feels disrespectful of the lawsuit, of due process, and the people of this community," Donna Bohon says.

"Our job is to assume we're in good standing until the courts tells us something different," Mike Edwards says.

Bohon say his neighbors have told officials everything they need. They don't want this.

The other treatment options involved pumping water to three existing facilities, but the development corporation says the distance made that difficult. Ultimately, the county commission will direct the waste water treatment plan.

If you have concerns you want to share, there will be another meeting Thursday at 6pm at Carter High School.

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