Hurley Residents Question Proposed Water-Sewer Plans

HURLEY (WLOX) -- Once sleepy Hurley is anything but these days. As commercial business expands around the town's main intersection, sprawling subdivisions are sprouting on former farm land.

The Jackson County Utility Authority plans to bring central sewer and water service to folks who now rely on wells and septic tanks.

"My views on it is if I want it, fine. But if I don't want it, don't force me to take it," says longtime Hurley resident Corky Tigner.

He and relative newcomer to town, Carla Castorina share the same feelings about the proposed services.

"If you don't speak up when you disagree with something, then everybody thinks that you agree. And that everything is just lovely and it isn't. Because we disagree. And a lot of people feel like it's being crammed down our throats," said Castorina.

"I'm concerned because I'm retired and I'm on a fixed income, and all of a sudden now I'm going to have to pay more money out every month that I don't need to pay out," Tigner added.

Plans call for installing sewer and water lines six miles out in each direction from the intersection of Highways 613 and 614. Construction of a sewer treatment plant will begin this summer and be finished by next Spring.

With the ongoing growth in the community, longtime residents like Corky Tigner concede that central sewage and water service is inevitable for the future. But they say they'd like to see some sort of grandfather provision so that existing residents are not forced to hook up.

"I think if they put in a subdivision, they need to have something like that. But where I live, I've got 40 acres. And now I'm going to be forced to hook up to it," said Tigner.

"It just seems like we need a little more planning and we have questions that we would like to have answered," says Castorina.

The director of the Jackson County Utility Authority, Curt Miller, told WLOX News the $2.5 million project is moving forward. He's not certain what the hook up fees will be and is looking for grant money that might be used to defray some of that expense.