Construction of Duplexes Near The Plains Proposed

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A Lemaster Road resident is proposing construction of seven duplexes in what he hopes will be the first phase of a larger development.

Jeff Tope met with the Athens County Commissioners on Tuesday to get an indication of whether he would be allowed to hook into The Plains water and sanitary sewer system. The commissioners indicated they would be receptive to the idea, but many details remain to be worked out before they can give a definite yes.


Tope said he wanted to sound out the commissioners before expending more money on the project, which is in the early stages of planning. The site is on 150 acres located about a quarter-mile west of the intersection of Lemaster and Poston Roads.

“I can’t do anything without water and sewer,” Tope said. “I didn’t want to go any further until I see what my options are, spend any more money.”

Tope said if development of the first set of duplexes is successful, then consideration would be given to expanding.

Commission President Lenny Eliason asked Tope to provide some additional information, after which the commissioners will draft a letter expressing their intent to allow the project to hook into The Plains water and sewer system if conditions outlined in the letter are met. One of those conditions will be that Tope pay the cost of installing water and sewer lines and a lift station.

The county would not take over maintenance of the new infrastructure until it has been in operation for a period of time — typically two years operating at 50 percent capacity or higher, according to Eliason.

Eliason said there also will have to be discussion with the city of Athens, which supplies water to The Plains system. If the project were to expand beyond the original seven duplexes there is a potential it could cause the system to exceed the amount of water it contracts to buy from the city, so there would need to be some indication from the city that more water could be obtained, Eliason explained.