Residents in Belle Meade and those near the intersection of Cobbham Road and Interstate 20 will soon see the start of sewer line construction. But once the lines are complete, the cost of hooking up to the system could catch some by surprise.
County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton said the distance of each home from the line will determine tap-on and connection fees. For Belle Meade residents, the average cost should be around $1,800, and it's something they can't avoid.
"You get the good with the bad," Chairman Newton said. "I didn't really like having to pass a mandatory sewer use ordinance. I don't like telling people they have to do anything, but in order to get this project, that was something we had to swallow and do it."
While those fees don't include the price of filling in a septic tank, county leaders might have found a way to help residents out with those additional costs. Chairman Newton said he's working on having a load of dirt dropped off at each home to offset the cost of eliminating the septic tank because residents are required to connect.
"That's just a way for us to say 'We'll try to help you out if we can,'" Chairman Newton said.
Construction on the sewer projects is scheduled to begin in early July and should be complete by spring. Officials are asking that residents "be patient with the contractors" until the job is complete.
"It's going to look bad. We realize that," Chairman Newton said. "But we're going to do our best to put everything back in the condition we found it. Just before you start the phone calling and letting us hold it, give us the opportunity to fix it."
Chairman Newton also added that the benefits of the sewer extension outweigh the temporary disturbance to residents.
"It's going to take a little time, and it's going to disrupt some people's lives," he said. "But I think it's an important project, and I'm glad we're finally able to move forward on it."