March 07, 2022
County commissioners have unanimously agreed to ask state officials for public hearing “as soon as possible” to provide accurate information about the Lick Creek project being proposed by the Water Authority of Dickson County.
The request is part of a broader resolution that asks the Department of Environment and Conservation to delay issuance of a draft permit for six months, to allow local study and discussion.
Commissioner Danny Clark proposed the informational hearing, prompted by discussions he had with two citizens.
“They don’t know whether to be for it, against it or indifferent,” he told the Legislative Body on February 28. “The need for accurate public information is necessary.”
The 20-0 vote added his amendment to the broader Resolution 20-13, which was then approved 20-0.
Mayor Mark Bentley forwarded the request on March 1. The department’s information officer, Kim Schofinski, said on March 3 that a public hearing “typically follows the issuance of a draft permit.
“TDEC is planning to conduct additional meetings with the public and WADC in the near future,” she said in an e-mail.”
“This is not a vote on the merits,” said Commissioner Lionel Barrett. “This resolution simply seeks at least to delay the issuance of any permit until the citizens of this county have the opportunity to review the content of the application.”
The Water Authority of Dickson County’s plan — to create a wastewater treatment plant and to release that cleaned effluent into Lick Creek — became public in January. That prompted the formation of the citizens group Save Lick Creek, which has held two public meetings.
Many of its members, carrying signs and wearing custom T-shirts, attended last Monday’s commission meeting.
“The residents have clearly here expressed a strong desire to have input,” said Barrett, adding that a permitting delay would not be a detriment to WADC.
Citizens, he said, have “the right to explore it.”
Commissioner Keith Nash, the resolution’s co-sponsor, said the resolution seeks to resolve “a lack of information,” enabling local citizens to “figure out for ourselves what we’re doing.”
The county government has no role in the permitting process itself.