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Twelve Oaks Could See Sewer Work, Rate Hike Soon

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Residents living on Bonnie Blue Drive in the Twelve Oaks subdivision may not only deal with a major inconvenience while sewer work is being done but may also see a future rise in their sewer bill.

On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved a letter requiring a sewer upgrade be made in the subdivision, at the request of Twelve Oaks Estates and Utility Company owner Billy Westbrook.

Work will soon be done to fix a sagging area of a sewer line in the Twelve Oaks Subdivision on Bonnie Blue Drive that caused sewage to back up and spill onto the street in 2017 from this manhole. Photo from Google.

Building Official Joel Hollowell said the county received several complaints about the Twelve Oaks Utility Company starting in 2015. Two major sewer incidents occurred, the last one being in 2017, that caused some homeowners on Bonnie Blue Drive to be without a restroom for several days at a time.

Both times the sewage came out of a manhole and spilled into the street.

“Obviously, that creates a hazardous situation for the health, safety and welfare of the residents,” Hollowell said.

A camera was used on the line and a sag was discovered in the main line, which clogged up and caused the backups.

“(Westbrook) has developed a plan to be able to fix it, but this plan is going to be a major disruption for those living on Bonnie Blue,” Hollowell said.  “Some may not even be able to use their own driveways.”

Hollowell said the fix is also a very costly one for the developer.

In order to satisfy the Public Service Commission’s regulations on the process of raising rates for utility companies, Westbrook needed the Board of Supervisors to “require” him to make the improvements to the system before he could ask the PSC for a rate increase to help pay for the upgrades.

There was no discussion about what the possible future rate hike would be, nor when construction on the upgrades would begin.

Supervisor David Rikard made the motion to approve the upgrade requirement.

“I know it’s been a huge inconvenience to the property owners on Bonnie Blue and at the same time it’s going to be a huge financial burden on the developer, so I’m glad we’re taking the steps to correct that problem,” he said before making a motion to approve.


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