Potential engineering mistake halts work on Georgetown’s new wastewater plant

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A potential engineering mistake has halted construction on the $49.8 million wastewater plant in Georgetown.

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – A potential engineering mistake has halted construction on the $49.8 million wastewater plant in Georgetown.

The pause affects construction on developments, as the city’s running out of sewer capacity. Now, continued growth for the city could be delayed.

Georgetown is a booming city, according to real estate appraiser Roy Cornett.

“I’ve got some real estate and it’s all right here in Georgetown,” Cornett said. “I think I’ve picked a good place to put it.”

Now, it’s a balance between continuing this growth and caution.

Some developments are at a stand-still, including a new Scott County High School. The mayor said it’s due to an engineering mistake.

“We’re beginning to be on the edge of running out of sewer capacity to support the continued growth of Georgetown,” Mayor Tom Prather said. “The expansion of this wastewater treatment plant is critical to our future.”

Mayor Prather said there’s concern the foundation for the new wastewater plant is not thick enough. More than $5 million of concrete has already been poured. Now, the walls and floors of the foundation need to be checked ensuring they’re strong enough.

“Had we completed construction of the plant and had it been in operation and had there been an operational failure, there could have been an environmental catastrophe over there on the backs of the elkhorn creek,” Mayor Prather said.

The waiting game is costly, with around $160,000 needed to evaluate all seven structures on the plant’s campus.

According to Cornett, other developers have their ears to the ground, waiting to make their long-term plans.

“The average guy on the street, if there’s a house, he can move into next week,” Cornett said. “The developers are the ones that got the really serious question.”

The length of the delay is still unknown. A national engineering forensics firm’s review will take four weeks. There will be no timeline until that report comes back.

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