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Extending sewers to the future Brownsboro school campus is now in the hands of the Oldham County Environmental Authority after fiscal court approved a revised interlocal agreement Jan. 17.
The agreement between fiscal court, the city of Crestwood and Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District hasn’t been revised since its original signing in 1996.
The revised agreement allows sewers to be extended to any area within OCEA’s territory using Crestwood’s pipes and sewage plants — without Crestwood annexing the land.
More than a dozen people spoke during the public comment, which lasted about two hours.
Most of the speakers live in Brownsboro and said they know the Brownsboro Comprehensive Master Plan includes bringing sewers to the area.
Residents want to ensure the area will not be annexed by the city of Crestwood to extend sewers, and they still have reservations about the school’s location.
Brownsboro resident Don Hall said he worries about what will follow sewers.
Hall fears officials will widen roads, more houses will occupy smaller lots and chain restaurants will appear.
Dinwiddie Lampton, who owns 170 acres including the entire road frontage across from the school site, wants his land to eventually go into a conservation easement.
“I’m very concerned about the whole character of my community being changed,” he said.
La Grange attorney Andrew Howell represented a group of Brownsboro residents at the meeting.
Howell said according to state law, he doesn’t believe Crestwood could run sewer lines into the area even if it annexed the land.
State law preserves the utilities rights to the original provider even if an area is annexed.
Howell also referenced a state law that considers the installation of sanitation improvements without district approval a nuisance.
The revised interlocal agreement expands the Crestwood service area to include lines installed outside the original service area — described by Judge-Executive David Voegele as “forgiving past sins.”
Voegele said officials are “not exactly sure” why or when the lines were installed outside the original Crestwood service area, but that Crestwood officials didn’t approve the lines in an attempt to usurp OCEA authority.
District 5 Magistrate JD Sparks asked if OCEA was taking action to recoup funds lost to Crestwood through those unauthorized lines.
Horace Harrod, OCEA chairman, said that action is the county’s responsibility, not OCEA’s.
Harrod answered questions about the agreement, which he described as a “vehicle by which OCEA can extend sewer service” into not only Brownsboro but other areas in the county.
Harrod said the school district will be responsible for the cost of extending the sewer lines to the campus.
OCEA would be responsible for funding additional capacity beyond the school’s needs, Harrod said, including usage for residents.
Sparks and District 3 Magistrate Bob Leslie both said they had more questions than they had answers after public comment, and didn’t feel prepared to make a decision.
Sparks motioned to table the agreement, but the motion failed.
District 6 Magistrate Kevin Eldridge chairs the utilities and environmental committee that recommended passing the agreement and said the agreement can benefit all residents.
By adding more customers to the sewer system, Eldridge said the cost to residents will be spread out over more people and will hopefully lower the cost in the future.
“I believe the emotions we’re seeing are school issues, not sewer issues,” he said.
Magistrates Wayne Theiss, Bob Dye, Eldridge and Voegele voted to approve the agreement.
Sparks and Brent Likins voted against the agreement; Steve Greenwell, Michael Logsdon and Leslie abstained.