| November 29, 2007
- The City of Knoxville has agreed to withdraw its lawsuit regarding
Knox County's recently enacted stormwater ordinance contingent on
County Commission's approval of a new revised ordinance.
Mayors Bill Haslam and Mike Ragsdale agreed to the new draft ordinance
with the concurrence of the city and county engineering departments.
City Engineers had identified 23 items in the county ordinance
that deviated from the requirement that Knox County adopt "drainage
standards for development that are at least as strict as the drainage
standards used by the City."
Following weeks of discussion City and County engineers, along
with the city and county mayors, had reached agreement on 22 of
the items. Last week both sides met to discuss the final remaining
point of disagreement - the requirement regarding materials to be
used in pipes used to carry stormwater.
The settlement relative to pipe materials commits Knox County
(1). Only reinforced concrete pipe for "pass through water."
(2). Only reinforced concrete pipe for detention basins and outlet
structures and pipes.
(3). Only reinforced concrete pipe in public rights of way except
as provided for in (4).
(4). Reinforced concrete, dual wall high density polyethylene,
or aluminized corrugated metal pipe in low impact traffic areas
within residential subdivisions. Other metal pipe materials, including
corrugated metal, are not permitted. At the time of installation
a laser deflection test will be performed and certified to ensure
structural integrity. Streets classified as "Minor collectors
and above" must use only reinforced concrete.
(5). Knox County will also hire four additional storm water engineers
to ensure compliance with drainage regulations.
"We appreciate the efforts of Knoxville and Knox County engineers
to reach agreement on a strict draft ordinance to control stormwater
in the area of the county outside the City of Knoxville" said
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "With the newly strengthened enforcement
mechanisms this proposed ordinance is essentially the functional
equivalent of the City's. It provides downstream protection to the
residents of Knoxville as well as to people living outside the city
"Water does not recognize political jurisdictions. We look
forward to working collaboratively with Knox County to protect the
quality of our water and to protect our neighborhoods."
"This is the way governments should work together," Knox
County Mayor Mike Ragsdale said. "I thank Mayor Haslam and
his staff for their willingness to work with us through the issues
to come up with solutions without having to engage in a legal remedy.
It's a winning situation for government, citizens and water quality,
and I would encourage County Commission to support the revised ordinance."
Knox County Engineering will incorporate the changes and will take
the revised ordinance to the December meeting of County Commission
for adoption on first reading.