Editor's note: This article was updated at 4:33 p.m. to include comments from the Frankfort Plant Board.
City Commissioner John Sower voted a resounding “heck yes” to approve a settlement agreement and release statement regarding the Tanglewood reservoir litigation Monday.
At the Frankfort City Commission meeting, the board voted unanimously after a closed session to take one of the final steps in resolving a years-long conflict with the Frankfort Plant Board over the best option for replacing the city's aging water storage tanks.
City Solicitor Laura Ross said once all of the parties approve the settlement agreement, it will end the litigation and allow the city commission to move forward.
The details of the settlement are not yet public since the Frankfort-Franklin County Planning Commission still needs to consider the agreement, Ross added.
“As soon as they do, we will be able to share everything we need to,” Ross said.
Ross said the Frankfort Plant Board has already approved the agreement.
Earlier this month, the planning commission found that the FPB’s revised Tanglewood reservoir plan follows the city's comprehensive plan.
As soon as the agreement is accepted by all parties, FPB can move forward with acquiring the needed permits to begin construction, Ross said.
John Cubine, chairman of the municipal utility’s governing board, told The State Journal on Tuesday he’s pleased and looking forward to moving on.
“It’s a good resolution,” he said.
Cubine added he’s proud of how hard everyone, including the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association, the planning commission and the city, worked to come to an agreement.
The current reservoir holding the city's water supply consists of two 135-year-old, 4.6-million-gallon tanks.
More than a year ago, FPB planned to replace the current reservoir with a single 7-million-gallon, $3.8 million water tank.
Those plans were halted when the planning commission recommended denying the project in August 2018 since FPB’s plan was “not in agreement with the comprehensive plan.”
At its Jan. 21 meeting, FPB voted 3-0, with board member Stephen Mason absent, to have staff draft a new proposal for a reservoir and submit to the planning commission in time for its March meeting.
Available for review at fpb.cc, the new reservoir plan calls for a single 6.5-million-gallon tank, which is 9.4 feet lower and less visible than a previous 7-million-gallon design.
In February, FPB Public Information Coordinator Cathy Lindsey said the new reservoir is estimated to cost $4.5 million, about $700,000 more than the original plan that was opposed by Tanglewood residents and the planning commission.c
On Tuesday, Lindsey said: "After years of planning, we are pleased that we can now move forward with this critical project for Frankfort's water system."