Jefferson County citizens react to new sewer receiver - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson County citizens react to new sewer receiver

By Johnathan Hardison

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The people who will be impacted the greatest by Wednesday's decision to appoint John S. Young as the Jefferson County sewer system receiver are all of the Jefferson County sewer customers. So how are they reacting to this news?

By the time we got a chance to talk to sewer customers, Young was already technically in charge of the sewer system they get a bill from every month.
     
The news that he will make $500 an hour for up to 10 hours a day plus expenses, all while having the power to raise rates to whatever a judge considers reasonable was almost too much for some sewer customers to bear.

"I think it's crazy," said septic tank user Tony Ladue. "That's the kind of mistakes we've made in this county before. When you have a bunch of dingbats running it, that's what you get. You put bad people in you get bad return, and that's what's happened and the people of Jefferson County are suffering for it right now."

"Yeah that makes me mad, you're mighty right," said sewer customer James Henson. "Because I ain't got no job, so that do make me mad. But what can we do about it, that's what I say, what can we do about it?"

"I'm very unhappy about it," said fellow sewer customer Maxine Moore. "But now, I'll ask you a question, what can I do about it? Cry? Or look very closely at the people I vote for. I'm thinking about that."
     
Moore plans to express her anger in the voting booth this November, but she thinks sewer customers could vote even sooner with their feet.

"I'll tell you what a lot of families are doing, they're moving out of the city," Moore said. "Is that really what we want to happen? No. I think we really need to go back to the scratch board and see, I think it's probably too late. We just made some dumb moves for a long time."

"I'm not going to do it, not going to pay it," Ladue said. "I suggest, if you don't like it, move out of here. That's we need to do, shrink the county whatever, it's unfair."

Ladue is one of several septic tank users who are worried this receiver might try to start charging them a fee for not being on the county's sewer system, known as a "non-user fee".    
     
But Jefferson County officials we spoke to this afternoon tell us they do not believe the receiver will have that power.

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