Shelby Springs residents oppose Calera sewer project location

Four residents from the Shelby Springs area don’t think too highly of Calera’s planned sewer project and where it may be located &045; less than a mile from their homes.

Following Calera’s Sept. 16 city council meeting Donald Honeycutt, Butch Phillips, Wayne Horton and Brandon Boggan questioned a certified letter that one of them had received.

The notice, addressed to Boggan, informed him that the city was looking at buying land adjacent to him for a wastewater treatment plant and would soon have an environmental assessment performed on the land to determine potential impact to Camp Branch Creek.

At a meeting in August, the Calera mayor and council approved the $8 million sewer project which could double the city’s wastewater

capacity from 750,000 gallons to 1.5 million gallons per day.

This will allow the city to build a second wastewater treatment plant to handle new growth.

The city’s current wastewater plant is located on 22nd Street, and the treated water feeds into Buxahatchee Creek.

City officials said the new facility, with a 3 million gallon capacity, will be located somewhere along Camp Branch Creek near Shelby County highways 42 and 70, possibly just

upstream from the four residents.

The sewer expansion, the city’s first in more than 20 years, is being financed through a loan of $4.6 million from the Rural Utility Service in Tuscaloosa, a department of the United States Department of Agriculture and a $3.4 million grant.

Phillips asked Calera Mayor George Roy why he wasn’t notified of the city’s plans.

&uot;We don’t have the grant yet, we may still put (the wastewater treatment plant) in another area,&uot; Roy said.

Roy said the treated water would be cleaner than the water currently in the creek, according to information from the EPA and a private contractor.

Horton then said, &uot;If it is that good, put it in front of Timberline (Golf Course).&uot;

His neighbor, Honeycutt, questioned why the project couldn’t go near the Waterford Subdivision on Highway 70, which is in Calera.

The subdivision is slated for some 900 homes in the coming years.

&uot;There is thousands of acres up there. (The project) is just benefiting new growth up north anyway,&uot; he said.

Roy once again emphasized that no property had been chosen.

&uot;I’m just a part-time mayor, I can’t be running around and looking where everybody is surveying,&uot; Roy said.

Horton continued to question the mayor.

&uot;We are not trying to be ugly but we don’t want a sewage plant in our back yard,&uot; Horton said.

Roy told the men the project may benefit them if they ever wanted to develop any of their property.

That was not an answer Boggan cared to hear.

&uot;If it benefits the masses, it should be near the masses,&uot; he said, referring to his neighbors just up the road in Waterford