Jefferson County’s troubles could affect Shelby County

As a direct neighbor, Shelby County stands to be significantly impacted by Jefferson County’s ongoing sewer debt crisis. If this issue were to go unresolved it would have a detrimental effect on all of Alabama and our ability to borrow money for capital improvement projects. Our credit rating has already taken a hit and I fear what would happen if Jefferson County were to file the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history.

I first engaged in an effort to solve the sewer crisis as a citizen when starting JeffCoCan, advocating a solution that raises no new taxes and avoids bankruptcy. I’m still confident that such a plan is viable, but it will require everyone coming together to make it a reality. I have been encouraged by Governor Bentley’s involvement and attention to ensuring that we put forward a plan to resolve the ongoing debt crisis once and for all.

Since Shelby County has privatized its sewer system, it has been operating more effectively and efficiently, which saves customers money. Additionally, by operating under an independent sewer authority we can ensure that politics and corruption are forever removed from the system.

In the coming weeks, I plan to host community meetings in Chelsea and Columbiana to provide us with an opportunity to discuss how we can improve Shelby County. These meetings are intended for us to dialogue about issues of importance to you and will give me a chance to update you on the past legislative session in Montgomery.

Please check my web site at for the dates, times and locations of the first two community meetings, as well as others I will host throughout Shelby County in the months ahead.

As always, I hope you will contact me directly if I can ever be of assistance to you or your community.

Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Shelby County in District 15.