State loan would help city address Lakemoore odor issue
A $5 million State Revolving Fund loan to affect a comprehensive fix at the Morristown wastewater-treatment plant is a “99 percent certainty,” Morristown City Administrator Tony Cox said this morning.
The proposed improvements include upgrades to the plant’s digesters, which are expected to greatly reduce sewage odors in the Lakemoore subdivision area.
Creating more reliable electrical service to the plant should cut the chances of catastrophic sewage spills into Cherokee Lake, according to Cox.
“I’m excited that we’re finally able to move forward and get some stuff done,” the city administrator said this morning.
Councilmembers could convene as early as March 25 to discuss the final proposal.
Cox says the $5 million, 20-year SRF loan will have an interest rate of less than 1 percent. The city administrator says construction could begin as early as late spring, and he anticipates the work will be finished before the end of this year.
During construction, Lakemoore residents could detect increased odors because a portion of the plant will have to be shut down in order for the comprehensive upgrades, including the electrical system, to continue, according to the city administrator.
“But in the long run, we’ll be much better off,” Cox said.
The wastewater-treatment plant has dual electrical feeds from Morristown Utility Systems and an electrical cooperative, but they are on the same power poles for some distance.
In the relatively recent past, a fallen tree and a car crash interrupted electrical service to the plant, resulting in sewage spills into Cherokee Lakes.
The digesters, which break down organic matter, are 1960s technology, and have not functioned at full capacity for many years.
-By Robert Moore, Tribune Staff Writer