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Commission discusses water and sewage issues for Alabama Farm Center

By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer

 

The Chilton County Commission discussed the issue of water and sewage service for the Alabama Farm Center and retail district during a meeting on Aug. 10.

Commissioner Allen Williams brought up the issue, asking why the commission had not responded to a letter Wade Watley presented back in June. Watley, the Water and Sewer chairman for the city of Clanton, stated the city was committed to providing sewer and water services for the project in his letter.

“I thought that was kind of odd since the city formally said they were providing water and sewer to the Farm Center, and they haven’t even been given anything so that they can start planning for their three or four or five-million-dollar project,” Williams said.

The reasoning for this is that the county is instead going to provide these services, as an agreement between the commission and the city of Clanton was not reached.

“In a meeting with the city, it was told to me directly … that the city would not provide sewage and water to the retail cooperative district unless they could annex it,” Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell said. “In that same meeting, the mayor (Jeff Mims) said he wouldn’t annex it without keeping the tax money, and without that tax money we can’t pay for the Exhibition Hall, and without the Exhibition Hall, retail won’t come.”

Chilton Water Authority will now be providing water services to the Farm Center, and the Industrial Development Authority reached an agreement with Sain Engineering to engineer self-contained sewer systems for the property.

Also discussed at the meeting was a change in when work sessions will be held for the commission. They will go back to having work sessions on the Tuesdays in between each voting session. It was also stated that the commission will not be holding a voting session on Aug. 24, instead their next voting session will be on Sept. 14.