By JACKSON FRENCH firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 31, 2019
A project in Simpson County to expand water and sewer lines has gotten a $1 million boost from the state.
The project, which received a $1 million Community Development Block Grant, involves improving the lines on Steele Road. Simpson County Judge-Executive Mason Barnes said the county served as a financial conduit, applying for the grant on behalf of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority.
The project is intended to benefit XYZ CBD Group, a company that plans to establish a hemp farming and processing facility, though the improvements and expansions will also benefit residents of the area who currently are not connected to Franklin’s sewer system, Barnes said.
“There’s only a handful of residences out there, but in time they will be able to connect to the sewer line,” he said.
The expansion of the sewer system, which Barnes believes calls for an additional quarter of a mile of pipeline, will be overseen by Franklin’s Public Works Department. Public Works Director Chris Klotter was unavailable for comment.
Improvements to the water line, however, are under the purview of the Simpson County Water District. Water district General Manger John Dix said improvements to the water line involve building a 10-inch pipeline on Lake Springs Road that will feed into an existing 10-inch line on Steele Road.
According to Dix, this will enable the existing pipe to carry water faster, which will make any impacted sprinkler systems more effective.
“The line on Steele Road alone couldn’t provide adequate fire protection,” he said.
With an additional line able to pump more water into the existing line, the system will be able to deliver far more than the current capacity of 500 to 600 gallons a minute in the event of a fire, Dix said.
“We’re going to be easily able to double that or even more with this second line,” he said. “It’ll have a positive impact. It’s going to increase the fire protection availability for everyone along Lake Springs and Steele road(s).”
XYZ CBD is a Kentucky-based company “dedicated to transforming lives through the cultivation and production of cannabidiol, or CBD, an organic component proven to have far-reaching physiological benefits for both humans and animals,” according to its website, xyzcbdgroup.com.
Barnes said XYZ’s facility will need 400 to 500 acres of hemp. In addition to growing hemp on the property, it will contract with interested local farmers to grow some of the hemp on their land.
Barnes said he’s excited about the possibility of the county soon having a presence in the hemp industry.
“It’s kind of exciting to be on the leading edge of it,” he said. “It’s going to be an agricultural crop of the future and obviously Simpson County is an agricultural community, so I think we’ll be well equipped to handle it.”
There were plans to hold a groundbreaking for the facility to be attended by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in August, but the event was postponed after McConnell fell and broke his shoulder early in the month.
“We rescheduled because he would really like to be there and we would really like him to be there,” he said.
For now, the date of the groundbreaking is uncertain, Barnes said.