“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently,” claims noted American investor, business tycoon and philanthropist Warren Buffett, whose net worth of more than $100.6 billion as of last month makes him the seventh-wealthiest person in the world.

Two decades is roughly the amount of time that local officials have been Band-Aiding numerous sewer issues that have created environmental, health and safety problems in the Farmdale Sanitation District, which services 1,077 households — including all areas south of Interstate 64 to the Anderson County line and west of the Kentucky River that aren’t currently serviced by the City of Frankfort Sewer Department.

Now is the time to do things differently.

Thanks to an interlocal agreement between the Franklin County Fiscal Court and Frankfort City Commission, the county will now be able to send wastewater to the city for treatment.

Last month, fiscal court submitted its request for $12 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Community Project Funding to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., in order to install an interceptor sewer system, which will eliminate the need for six of the Farmdale Sanitation District’s nine wastewater treatment plants and direct all wastewater to a centralized pump station before sending it on to the city.

We believe it is a project that all of Franklin County should get behind for the immediate relief it will give Farmdale Sanitation District customers, who have had more than their share of difficulties over the years.

But we also must acknowledge the economic potential a project of this magnitude could have on the U.S. 127 South corridor — a virtually untapped resource because of the lack of sewer connectivity to the city.

And while we encourage growth in Southern Franklin County, it must be done smart, not fast. It’s a point that Judge-Executive Huston Wells brought up during a recent State Journal interview in which he identified U.S. 60 (Versailles Road) to Interstate 64 as an area of rapid growth where there are numerous traffic lights.

“I think this is an opportune time for us as a community to decide to grow in a way that doesn’t mean stoplights every 100 yards,” he said, adding that the comprehensive plan and planning and zoning are key components to ensuring smart, not unbridled, growth.

“It can be planned,” Wells said. “If we do it that way, then we can all be involved.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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