Westover Breaks Ground on New Private Sewer System

Thu August 19, 2004 - Southeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

A new private sewer system will soon become a reality in the town of Westover, AL, in Shelby County. A groundbreaking ceremony was held last month for the system, which officials hope will pave the way for increased commercial and residential development along a 10-mi. (16 km) stretch of U.S. Highway 280. It will serve the towns of Vincent, Harpersville, Westover, Chelsea and Wilsonville.

Westover’s town council approved resolutions in April authorizing the issue of $4 million in bonds by its Government Services Utilities (GUSC) Board. The bonds were to help finance the new wastewater treatment facility, sewage pipelines and accessories to serve the municipalities served by the system. The GUSC was created about two years ago with the new sewer project in mind.

Currently, the area depends on septic tanks. However, the new system will be capable of handling both commercial and increased residential developments. Mark McLaughlin, chairman of the Westover GUSC, noted that the project will bring a long-term solution to an ongoing problem. He is hopeful that the new system will open up the U.S. 280 corridor to growth and economic development.

The project is under the direction of Enviro-Systems, which also will be in charge of operation and ownership. It will be built on 60 acres currently owned by Cheyenne Environmental (part of Environ-Systems) and Gulf States Paper Corporation. The two companies hold a discharge permit allowing 5 million gallons a day. However, the plant will reportedly start with 300,000 gallons per day.

The project is expected to take approximately nine months to complete at a cost of $6.5 million. Plans are to run the sewer lines along U.S. 280 from west of Shelby County 51 in Westover to Shelby County 79 in Harpersville, with an additional line extending up U.S. 231 toward Vincent.

Those who were recognized during the groundbreaking ceremony included GSUC board members Mark McLaughlin, chairman; Wilson Johnson, vice-chairman; and Larry Riggins, secretary; Mayor Roger West and the town council of Westover; Mayor Wayne Moore and the town council of Harpersville; Mayor Joe Thompson and the city council of Vincent; Shelby County Commissioners Don Armstrong and Ted Crockett; County Manager Alex Dudchock; Shelby County Development Services representatives Ray Hamilton, Todd McDonald and Tom Wilkins; state representative Jim McClendon; and Tom Chambers and Norman Lipscomb of Gulf States Paper.