Jeffersonville Mayor Announces Alternative to Canal Project This Week

by Devin Katayama on January 23, 2012

After campaigning on canceling the city’s $65 million dollar canal project, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore will unveil his alternative plan this week.

Jeffersonville is under a federal mandate to reduce the amount of sewage that seeps into the river during storms. Moore has said previous proposals were too much of a burden on taxpayers and he has since said he will propose a cheaper answer to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) mandates to control the city’s sewage.

Councilman Ed Zastawny said he is aware of only three options, all of which have not been supported by Moore.

“The three possible plans are the canal, a retention pond with a pipe system or just a pipe system,” he said

The pipe systems include ways of diverting the excess water to another location.

The $65 million canal project included elements of beautification and economic development that would potentially attract business and which supporters say would save tax payers money in the future. The council approved a $20 million bond for the redevelopment, but it can’t be used if redevelopment isn’t included in Moore’s plan, said Zastawny. In that case the cost would have to be incurred 100 percent by the sewer department, he said.

“There is $20 million from redevelopment and that may or may not be used to improve the sewer system and solve these problems depending on what solution’s decided,” he said.

Moore has met with advisors, some of which are members of the original canal project team, but he has kept any plans out of the public eye. A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 at Jeffersonville City Hall Thursday.

The canal project or alternative plan is just one of several projects the EPA has said must be complete by 2025. Projects have been underway for the past couple years, Zastawny said.

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