published Friday, February 10th, 2012

Ethanol project again in Hamilton County pipeline

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Commissioner Tim Boyd still doesn't like the idea of a proposed ethanol transfer facility in the Bonny Oaks industrial park.

The Hamilton County Commission will take up the proposed "moonshine pipeline" next week, but it will be heading to the agenda with divided support of the commission's Finance Committee.

"That land cannot be repurposed, and I hope that the county is looking real close at the economic viability of this terminal long term," Boyd said.

Last September, Englewood Enterprises proposed building a station that would pump ethanol from rail cars to a proposed pipeline that will carry it to nearby fuel terminals. After receiving the county's preliminary blessing, Englewood sought a special zoning permit from Chattanooga to allow the use.

For the project to go forward, the county must waive its covenant restrictions and approve the sale of a portion of a county detention pond.

Englewood will need about three acres to construct a rail spur, said county engineer Todd Leamon.

Commissioner Joe Graham questioned why the company would be paying only about $42,000 an acre for the land.

James Hurst, a lawyer for Englewood Enterprises, said it's because the company has agreed to make improvements to the county's detention pond that will increase its size and bring it up to specifications.

Commissioner Fred Skillern said he wanted a report on how the detention pond change would affect the county's potential liability in the event of a spill or flood.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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