Minooka Park gets sewer grant

Published 10:05 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

Minooka Park is one step closer to getting a permanent sewer system with the help of a $44,913 federal grant.

The grant is part of a much larger grant that covers projects in Chilton and Shelby counties under the Buxahatchee Creek Watershed Restoration Project. The funding was allocated through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Chilton County will be required to provide matching funds up to $20,000, half of which can be in-kind work. In-kind work can include digging trenches, placing gravel on site and other projects.

The County Commission voted 4-2 Monday to proceed with engineering work at the park, which is located between Jemison and Calera off Highway 31. Commissioners Tim Mims and Joe Headley opposed the measure.

“We’ve had the problem ever since opening the park of coming up with a permanent septic system,” Minooka Park Manager Gerald Arrington said. “A conventional septic system is just not optional up here, and the amount of field lines it would take to handle the load.”

The park currently has a temporary 10,800-gallon holding tank that has to be pumped when it is full.

After looking at several different systems and finding that an onsite waste water treatment facility would be too expensive, park officials decided to go with a peat system that utilizes peat moss through several different pods. The new system will serve between 15 and 20 campsites and will not have to be pumped.

Arrington said the park plans to install a central dumping station and that just three or four campsites will have sewer hookups.

He estimates the system will cost about $65,000. Installation will likely begin within about one month.

“It’ll save money in the long run because we won’t have to pay to get it pumped out,” Arrington said.

The commission’s vote was based upon the recommendation of Commissioner Allen Caton, who oversees parks and recreation.

“It’s going to work out perfectly for the camp sites,” Caton said. “Most of that in-kind service is already being done by Gerald up there.”

In other business, the commission voted to advertise the closing of County Road 204 near Macedonia Church. The county has obtained written permission from landowners in the area.