After I read Tena Lee's front page article in the Sept. 19 issue of the Gallatin News about the coming court hearing regarding condemnation of property needed for the proposed sewer line for the Liberty Creek School complex, I was convinced that more research should have been done to seek an alternative route.
I called the office of Del Phillips, director of schools. I called the office of (Anthony) Holt, county mayor. I emailed my county commissioners. I called the White House Utility District.
On Monday, Mayor Holt returned my call. We spoke for some time. Here is how he addressed my concerns:
Why wasn't the proposed sewer line planned along the road where easement is already owned by the county?
1) Because there is very little easement and it is not deep enough to accommodate the sewer line. An engineering firm was hired to determine the best route. Holt's office can provide the contact info for that firm (and they) should be able to provide access to the engineering report.
There is talk that the proposed route was selected to benefit you personally.
2) I live in the area where the school complex will be built. I purchased 150 (acres) back in 1982. I run cattle on it.
Mayor Holt purchased his property 37 years ago. That was seven years before he became an elected official. There is no way he could have known then that a school complex would be needed in Sumner County or where it would be built.
After speaking with Mayor Holt again, I also learned: The engineering report for the Liberty Creek school campus is in the possession of the Board of Education, not County Mayor Holt. The engineering report will probably not be available for citizen review because of Homeland Security rules regarding the safe keeping of infrastructure plans.
The proposed sewer line is an extension of the current line put in place to service the Station Camp school complex.
The Liberty Creek school complex is a good thing for Sumner County. It will decrease over-crowding in existing schools. It will increase property values. Be glad it is not a less desirable development such as a rock quarry, a landfill, or a waste transfer station.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this issue, please call Mayor Holt. He will call you back and answer your questions.
As a matter of clarification, I am not a personal friend of Mayor Holt. I do not live near him. I do not go to church with him. I never spoke with him until the phone call this morning.
I have lived in Hendersonville for 40 years, more than half my life. I know I am not a "native" but I am also not a newcomer. My purpose in writing this letter is to address the misinformation that is circulating in the community.