Lake View residents have had enough with ongoing sewer issues
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson
Residents in Lake View say they’ve been facing more than two decades of financial oppression because of a private sewer company that’s grossly overcharging for services, and it’s past time something is done.
Tannehill Sewer borders Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties, and services residents in the McCalla and Lake View area. The system is owned by Michael White, who has faced previous trouble in court over unethical business practices.
Lake View residents stuck on Tannehill Sewer’s system are forced to pay $126 a month in sewer fees. That fee does not include any other service commonly bundled with sewer fees like water service or waste disposal.
On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Lake View City Council hosted a town hall meeting to discuss a new state bill that may end the system’s ability to operate without oversight.
House Bill 148 would put any privately owned sewer entities in Lake View under the oversight of the Alabama Public Service Commission.
Lake View Mayor Adrain Dudley said the proposed bill will put the privately owned sewer entities in Tuscaloosa County and the City of Lake View managed under the Public Service Commission.
“If it’s managed by the Public Service Commission, the POC can regulate the rates,” said Lake View Mayor Adrain Dudley. “They have been increased about four times in just over three years, and also help to manage the quality of work that’s done and the customer service that’s provided for the people of Lake View.”
The million-dollar question everyone is asking is why this issue has been going on for so long.
“This has been attempted before, and the people who have gone out and talked to legislators have told them that the citizens don’t want (the bill), even though the citizens do and they always have from what I’m finding,” Dudley said.
Lake View’s residents said they’re tired of paying so much money for shoddy service.
“We definitely need this bill passed. We need some relief from this situation. It’s ridiculous and it’s gone on for too long,” said Lake View resident Brandi Doyal.
Lake View resident Sharon Scarbrough said she is all for HB148.
“I’m going to work hard,” she said. “I’m going to pass out the paperwork. I’m going to go to Montgomery with the mayor if need be. I’m going to hold that banner if they need me to do it because it’s affecting my livelihood and I have been through so much.”
So what’s next for HB148? Without support, the bill likely won’t survive, Dudley said.
“The real issue right now is getting support from our legislators,” he said. “There is enough evidence to show that what’s going on is not right, but we want to try and get support from the legislators to get this done for the citizens because they are really the only thing standing in the way.”
If the bill is passed through the Alabama House and Senate, and then Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs off on it, the bill will go on the ballot so people can vote.