Illegal sewage pipes could now cost taxpayers money

Illegal sewage pipes could now cost taxpayers money

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A messy situation for the city of Phenix City, involving raw sewage, is now seeping into the wallets of taxpayers living in the area.

WTVM viewers might remember our reports on how city officials found illegal pipes dumping sewage into the Chattahoochee River; pipes they believe were installed by former city leaders.

Now, taxpayers might be forced to fork over more money to fix the situation.

"For anybody to do that knowingly, which it was done knowingly, that's wrong, and then to try and say that this administration or city manager are looking the other way, that is totally not true," said Phenix City mayor Eddie Lowe on Wednesday.

The lines that were dumping sewage into the Hooch and surrounding water ways were allegedly masking a larger city wide sewage problem. Now, extensive projects necessary to fix the system need funding.

"We heard everybody last night and the thing that I said was this is business. It's not easy being a servant, but this is business and this is hard," said Lowe, "Why don't they just come and let us show the facts?"

Which is exactly what happened Tuesday evening, as city officials mapped out the current issues plaguing the city, and why Phenix City leaders say a hike in sales tax, water and sewage rates, garbage rates and more could be the answer.

"I'm grateful that they have a full explanation of why these funds needed and how they are going to utilized," said Phenix City resident Cordelia Moffett:

Lowe say this potential tax hike is only a proposal, and city council will vote on the issue at a later date.

Copyright WTVM 2015. All rights reserved.