South AL city looks to build its own wastewater treatment plant

TAYLOR, AL (WSFA) - The city of Taylor is looking to build its own wastewater treatment plant.

The city has five pumping stations, but the wastewater is treated in Dothan. In a public notice posted on Facebook, Mayor Billy Snell said the current contract raises concerns for the city from a financial standpoint, because the rate increases every year.

But the financial burden isn't just a long-term one.

"The biggest concern is that they set our capacity of what we can discharge into the system," said Snell.

In the last two months, the city has exceeded capacity twice, and when they go over, they're charged 208 percent of their regular fee - which comes out of city funds. According to the mayor, $17,000 is paid per month to Dothan for the wastewater treatment service.

It's not all dollars and cents. The mayor said the current contract in Dothan is impacting development in Taylor.

"By regulating our capacity we're not able to offer any industries or developers any incentive, which would help make Taylor grow," said Snell.

The mayor said because there is no capacity for new businesses for sewage services, he's had to turn at least one industry away that was ready to bring jobs to the city.

"It's a sad feeling," said Snell. "We have people who would love to stay here and work here every day instead of going to Dothan or Fort Rucker, but now they're forced to go out of town to get a job when we could have had him here at home."

Snell said the new wastewater treatment plant would mean the city could potentially get a grocery store and more restaurants.

"I see a beauty salon, nail salon, and all those people need public sewer to function," said Snell.

The city has purchased 70 acres of land off Taylor Road for the new plant site. They're working with the engineer to draw up plans.

The mayor said they plan to get money for the $2.5 million project from the Clean Water Fund with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. He said based on the current customer base, it should fund the project.

The goal is to have to project done in 1 1/2 to 2 years.

There is a public meeting set for Thursday to talk more about what the project means for the city and the plans moving forward. It's set for 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.

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