County terminates water contract with Calera

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Shelby County Commission voted on Monday to terminate a contract to provide water to the city of the Calera.

The county has asked Calera to repay $879,000 the county says it has spent on a project to install a nine-mile water line for the city.

Seven years ago, Calera agreed to buy 22.8 million gallons of water a month from the county’s not-yet-built water plant on the Coosa River.

Since then, the county has opened the plant. But Calera also built a new plant in response to drought conditions, restrictions on outdoor watering, and a requirement from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to improve water treatment.

Last September, Calera unveiled its new $5 million water treatment plant, which is capable of producing up to 6 million gallons of water per day and can be expanded to produce 10 million gallons of water per day. Today, the city no longer needs water from the county.

Charles Lay, manager of the Shelby County Water Department, said Calera will repay the county about $41,000 a month and the total amount should be paid in less than two years.