The U.S. Economic Development Administration is asking for comments from anyone who believes the East Crossett Sewer project may negatively impact the environment or historical sites.
The request for comment does not mean that the EDA believes that the project will generate environmental or preservation problems, but it is required as part of the city’s move to receive grant funding in the course of the project.
The city is seeking a $1.64 million EDA grant to pay for a portion of the sewer expansion.
Crossett Mayor Crystal Marshall said the survey for possible impact was something every grant like the one the city is seeking has to go through.
“With federal funds, they make you do that, and that’s a good thing,” she said.
As part of the request for comment, the EDA shared a description of the scope of the project, writing that, “The project will construct sewer system improvements to the East area of Crossett service area, to include a new 2,200 gpm pump station with 14,300 feet of 14-inch forcemain, 10 feet of 24-inch gravity sewer, 1,200 feet of 21-inch gravity sewer, 5,400 feet of 12-inch gravity sewer, 3,500 feet of 10-inch gravity sewer, and 3,000 feet of 8-inch gravity sewer. The project will be located at in the eastern area of the City of Crossett and is bordered by Ashley 20 to the north, Fairview Road to the west, Wellfield Road to the south, and Ray Lochala Road to the east.”
Further information about the project is available at Crossett City Hall.
Those who have any information about a potential impact from the project — especially historical properties, wetlands or floodplains — are asked to share their comments in writing with:
Regional Environmental Officer
Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration
903 San Jacinto Blvd., Suite 206
Austin, Texas 78701
Any comments are due by 5 p.m. CST by July 30.
The East Crossett Sewer Project has been a matter of discussion for several years, and took a significant step forward in May 2020 when voters adopted a half-cent sales tax with a sunset clause to fund up to $7 million for the work.
A significant selling point for the project was that — in addition to improving sewer service on the eastern end of the city — it would add enough sewer capacity to support significant industrial expansion.
In addition to the grant, the city has sought temporary funding in connection with the project because, even though the tax is being collected, the bond for the project cannot open until work begins. The initial startup money can be repaid from the bond once the bond opens.