Dadeville Forum Criticizes City Wastewater Plant

Carey Mullican owns a house on Sandy Creek. When he heard that the local wastewater treatment plant was leaking material into the water, Carey was alarmed.

"We've never had an issue with pollution in this area but we do now because it's an extremely important issue," Mullican said.

At a meeting tonight, citizens voiced concerns over the renewal of a state permit that would allow the plant to operate for another five years.  The city assured residents that work was being done.

"There are a lot of proactive things that have been done within the last five months," city contractor Greg Ryland said.

Dick Bronson, president of the local organization LakeWatch, voiced his opinion at the meeting.  He says the efforts of the city to clean up the plant are "too little, too late."

"There are two aspects here: a lack of compliance, and a lack of enforcement.  If either had been done 50 years ago, then we wouldn't be here tonight," Bronson said.

Bronson and others aren't even opposed to the city getting a new permit, but they want a shorter duration: two years instead of the usual five.  This is a concept some residents say is reasonable.

"Any permit violation is illegal, a health hazard, and it negatively affects quality of life. It's detrimental to economic development," Carey Mullican said.

Still, the city says its working hard to fix problems at the plant, and some officials thinks the outcry is unnecessary.

"I think some people are over exaggerating," mayor Joe Smith said.

The meeting was simply a public forum for citizens to voice their opinions on the matter.  There's no word on whether or not the permit could or will be shortened to the expectations of those who attended.

Reported by: Cody Holyoke