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Land-use plan nears completion; public invited to give input

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By Thomas Barr

  SHEPHERDSVILLE - The process of developing a new comprehensive land-use plan is getting close to the final stages.

One of the final public meetings is set for Thursday at 6 p.m. in the courthouse.

Consultant Kriss Lowry is expected to have more details on the actual land-use proposals during this meeting.

After years of attempting to revamp its land-use plan, which is required by law, the county hired a consultant, who is leading the process.

During the past meeting, environmental issues dominated the conversation.

At the point of the discussion was House Bill 26, which allowed for a regional approach to sewer treatment.

Earlier this year, The Pioneer News reported on a proposed regional approach which would be spearheaded by the Metropolitan Sewer District. A committee would be in charge of the regional district, if one is ever approved.

Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts said local players did meet earlier this year but nothing has been done.

The goal would be to have local treatment systems pump all the waste to a major trunk line running through Jefferson County to Bullitt County to a major treatment plant on the Salt River at Fort Knox.

Linda Belcher, who worked on the bill as state representative, said entities could not be forced or expected to take on any debts owed by partners in the project.

Tom Fitzgerald, a leading attorney who works on environmental issues throughout the state, was consulted during discussions on the bill, said Belcher.

Currently, state Sen. Dan Seum, who is now the county’s legislator, is leading the regional effort.

The entire goal was to find a way to meet the federal environmental standards with a watch to control expenses. She said there would be no mandatory participation in the program.

Teena Halbig, another environmental leader involved in the protection of Floyds Fork, said she still had concerns over HB 26.

Having a monopoly in the end is a concern, said Halbig.

Rudy Hawkins, the county’s code enforcement officer, said with only a few of the 73 streams in the area suitable to wade in, something needs to be done.

As the surface water coordinator in the county, Hawkins said the various local agencies are working to meet federal standards. This would help with some of the pollution issues.

The series of monthly public meetings will continue on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. The public is invited to participate.