Pulaski officials will help negotiate a sewer easement for an area developer, but will not pay an estimated $40,000 to extend service to his Bob White Boulevard property.
Teddy Harrison appeared before Pulaski Town Council in June to request the town honor what he called a promise to provide water and sewer service to the property, located near the James Hardie plant. He said he would have never purchased the land if the town hadn’t indicated it would provide service to it. He contends he has someone interested in using the land for a commercial purpose, but only if water and sewer service is available.
Last week, Town Council decided to allow town staff to help Harrison negotiate an easement across adjoining properties so service could be supplied to the land. However, without having a promise in writing, council declined to cover the approximately $40,000 it would cost to extend the service absent of an easement.
Town Manager John Hawley said the $40,000 figure does not include the cost of blasting through rock if rock was encountered while extending service.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said encountering rock is most likely a certainty in that area.
Hawley also noted that the service would dead end at Harrison’s property if it is installed without an easement and would not be of any benefit should the town decide to extend its boundaries in that area.
Harrison told Town Council in June he purchased the property in 2008 after checking with Assistant Town Manager David Quesenberry about its zoning classification. He said he also was advised of the location of water and sewer service and was told the town would go to court to get an easement, if necessary, to get water and sewer to the corner of the property.
Harrison says the town’s water and sewer superintendent, Dave Cook, told him, this year, the town has a lot line easement to supply service to the lot and hookup costs were supplied. He says he asked Cook to provide confirmation in writing, but subsequently learned the town doesn’t have a lot line easement.
Harrison asked that the town honor what town representatives allegedly told him.
He said the property beyond his could also be developed if an easement was obtained to extend services.
Hawley said letters have been sent to two adjacent property owners on Bob White Boulevard who could provide an easement to Harrison’s property. One property owner declined an easement and the other one has indicated little or no interest in granting an easement because he already has service to his property.
The owner to the east declined and the owner to the south had not responded, but had indicated previously that he had little or no interest since he already has sewer service to his property. Staff planned to meet with the owner to the south and in the meantime other possible options were being reviewed.
“I don’t think we have $40,000 to extend to that site,” Worrell said last week. “I think we should continue to negotiate with (an adjacent property owner) to see if we can’t do something, but we can’t do anything for (Harrison) we’re not willing to do for any other developer.”
Councilman Joel Burchett said he doesn’t think the town should spend anything on obtaining an easement because “it’s not our fault or the citizens’ fault.”