Church wants to put sewer-overflow plan on hold

July 29, 2014

A Carmel church is asking a Clay Township utility to withdraw its offer to buy part of the church's land for a sewer-overflow tank so that church officials can conduct research and meet with neighbors for input.

The Clay Township Regional Waste District offered $106,800 to buy 1.6 acres of land from the King of Glory Church near 106th Street and Keystone Parkway, as IBJ first reported July 25. The utility said the above-ground, million-gallon tank is necessary to keep untreated residential waste and rainwater from overflowing out of the sewer system and into surrounding creeks and properties. 

The tank would have been built south of the church’s building complex and parking lot to temporarily hold sewer overflow during the few times of the year the area experiences excessive rainfall.

“(The church) felt like since so many questions have arisen they wanted a chance to step back and evaluate them,” Utility Director Drew Williams said.

The proposal called for 50 evergreen trees to be planted eight to 10 feet tall to conceal the tank from view. It also called for 10 deciduous trees of the church’s choosing, a self-cleaning system and air-purification unit for the tank and a few perks like a soccer field and driveway repair.

Many residents in the area opposed the offer and feared the church would have made an uniformed decision if it had complied with an Aug. 8 deadline to respond to the offer.

Indiana law mandates a land owner must be given at least 30 days to consider an offer before the prospective purchaser resorts to eminent domain.

Currently, sewage from Clay Township flows to the Carmel wastewater treatment plant. Clay Township has a contract with the city of Carmel that allows up to 6.2 million gallons of sewer water a day. The typical amount the city receives and prefers is between 1.7 million and 2 million gallons a day.

Common complaints made by opponents of the overflow tank include unsightliness, odor and property-value degradation. Williams said he could not speak on behalf of the utility's trustees, but said he anticipates their granting the church’s request.

The CTRWD will still need to address the sewer-overflow problem and could grant the request with conditions. The CTRWD Board of Trustees is scheduled to hold a special board meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday to vote on the KOG church’s request to withdraw the land purchase offer.


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