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City council expedites Midtown sewer project

ATLANTA, Ga. -- There is concern over what some say is a fast-tracked plan to put a large, sewer collection project in Northeast Atlanta. 

The Liddel Drive project plans include a 5 1/2 story building handling some 10 million gallons of water.-- that's about as much water found in the entire Georgia Aquarium. 

But this project site is the third one, and has left some business owners worried. The assumption has been this project would not come to Cheshire Bridge but would be near Zonolite or Kay Place in the Emory Area off Br Roadiarcliff Road. Neighborhood opposition helped put a stop to those plans.

Atlanta City Council has moved with speed in authorizing about 5.4 million dollars to draw up plans for a large sewer collection system off Cheshire Bridge Road. The city is under federal mandate to improve its sewer system.

A pumping station will be placed behind Alfredo's restaurant across Cheshire Bridge Road to catch sewage from the South Fork Peachtree Creek. 

During a rain storm, it will collect the sewage and be sent to the receptacle across the road. As the water from the North Fork Peachtree Creek recedes the water/sewage mix will be released from the tank .

" I think the city is trying to push this thing so fast and furious because they are out of time because they let the sewers go for so many years," said John Ayres.

He is the owner of J.W. Ayers Plumbing, it's adjacent to the 4 acres where the 5 ½ story sewage receptacle will be placed. Ayres believes this project smells, literally and figuratively.

"The city alleges these things are not going to smell, they are not going to affect property values but they will," he added.

One business owner told me, there are two problems:

  • If it smells bad all the restaurants will be adversely impacted along Cheshire, thus creating a dead zone. 
  • The majority in these neighborhoods knew nothing about this knew nothing of this plan.

Commissioner Jo Ann Marcrina of Atlanta Watershed Management told 11Alive News.

 "I understand the communities concern. There are a number of concerns."

Commissioner Marcrina believes new technologies will make this work in a location that's right. "The bottom line, the neighborhoods and the community will not see this project or smell this project."

Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan represents the district. " I just want to make sure the department provides the justification for the technology and why this location was selected

But John Ayres doesn't buy any of this- -of the city- - he says they have not been up frontnot up front 

"They haven't let anybody know. They are trying to slither it in before anybody wakes up."

Councilman Wan disagrees" Can we always reach everyone? No. we have tried."