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New sewer will serve hospital

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By Damon Lawrence

The $5.585 million loan Roane County plans to use to pay for a sewer expansion in Midtown has yet to be approved by the state.

“We finally got all of our I’s dotted and Ts crossed, re-signed document after document because they didn’t like the way it was signed,” Roane County Executive Ron Woody said. “It appears it’s ready to go to their board now for approval.”

The county is securing the loan through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program.

Woody said he expects the board to meet in June.

“I think as soon as that board meets and certifies approval of that loan, we’ll probably start construction in two to three days,” he said.  

The new Covenant Health hospital that is planned for Midtown is the catalyst behind the county’s sewer expansion.

Woody said the expansion will allow the county to meet the hospital’s sewer needs and those of other businesses in the area.  

“The Midtown sewer project has been engineered anticipating retail commercial growth in the area,” he said. “We recently went through a peer review of the engineering also just to give us the added level of confidence that everything has been checked and double-checked,  and we are building what is needed.”

Woody expressed confidence that Covenant will use the county’s sewer service.

“An economic decision will be made, and that decision will come to Roane County, no question,” he said. “We have a line in front of their hospital, and they can pay a monthly bill or they can invest millions of dollars if they want to do something different. The economic decision, I think, will be made is you got available service, you don’t build something else.”