Thursday, November 15, 2012
Miller updates on new cemetery policy
By SUE WATSON
A committee to consult with Larry Miller, supervisor of building and grounds, is satisfied with the proposed policy on Hill Crest Cemetery use.
Miller said three funeral home directors and several citizens, including the museum director, have reviewed the policy for operations of Hill Crest Cemetery and have only positive reviews of the policy.
The policy has not been offered to the press for publication.
Alderman Johnnie Ree Bagley-Johnson has been pursuing the completion of the policy review and other matters of import to the completion of work contained in a half-million dollars for cemetery monument repair work. The engineering firm, IMS, has been retained to oversee the repair work and has drawn down over $50,000 with no apparent work done as yet on the cleaning and repair of historic markers.
Following Miller’s report, Clencie Cotton, with Rust College, asked the board for help with a subdivision that the college has a grant to build for low income homebuyers. He said the cost to continue construction of new homes in the subdivision on Randolph Street will make the houses too costly if he is required to connect the homes to the city sewer.
One house has been built and a second is in the process. He asked the city to allow him to put home septic systems in rather than pay for a costly sewer line that would run up the cost of houses beyond the affordability range.
He said he would like to locate two additional lots to build the last two structures on, rather than complete the platted subdivision. He asked for permission to add a treatment plant on one house now in construction. The extension of sewer lines for the additional lots would run the price up about $40,000 a home, he said.
Summarizing, he said he has completed building one house, wants to use treatment plants in the first three houses, and wants to locate two other lots outside the subdivision.
Public works director Micheal Crittle was called up to advise the mayor and board on the matter.
He said the engineer had submitted subdivision plans and designed a system to apply sewer to three lots.
Don Hollingsworth with the utility department explained that 300 feet of sewer line would be needed to connect the houses to the city sewer system. State board of health requires that 1.5 acres of land be available for private septic tank systems, he said. One house was approved for a treatment plant.
Crittle said an agreement with Cotton on his subdivision plan was that the septic would be gravity flow with the city and the occupancy permit would not be given until the system was built.
Hollingsworth explained that the building permits already stipulate that the subdivision would connect to the city sewer.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry asked if the city has flexibility to lay the sewer. Crittle said the college was to provide the street in the subdivision and the sewer would be laid to extend to four houses to the city sewer. The cost to build the street would be $250,000 which the city would ultimately receive and about 360 feet of sewer line would be needed to connect to the city, Crittle said.
“The city would benefit from the dedication of the street and system but the extension should be paid by the developers,” Crittle said.
Cotton said the college would abandon the subdivision after finishing the next house.
“To what extent are we bound by subdivision regulations?” he asked.
“You got your cart before the horse,” said Hollingsworth, adding that Cotton would have to go before chancery court to change the plat.
Crittle said the builder has to do due diligence because of the building permit. If the college backs out of the subdivision, the city will not provide sewer or a street, he said. The city has already run water lines.
The mayor asked Crittle, Hollingsworth and Cotton to get together to work on a solution.
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