City of Rochelle reaches agreement to address sewage problems - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City of Rochelle reaches agreement to address sewage problems

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John Jackson John Jackson
Sittie Butts Sittie Butts
John Jackson and Sittie Butts and a number of residents in Rochelle are happy today because an end to the city of Rochelle's sewage problems is looming. 

"I have to be honest with you, I can't find the words to explain how happy I am," Jackson said.

"I'm very grateful that Rochelle is doing the right thing," Butts said.

Last summer, a group of residents filed a lawsuit against the city. The city has now agreed to settle and will install new pipes to fix the problem that has existed since the 1950s. Whenever it would rain, the community would have to battle intolerable conditions with sewage landing in their yards and homes.

"The odor was offensive and it was just messy," Butts said. "You know, it's embarrassing."

Jackson said that the problem existed for too long. He believes that the city and its residents started to get complacent.

"It was just neglected," Jackson said. "When it comes to people over here on the north side of town, they had accepted it as a way of life."

Earthjustice, a group representing the environmental concerns of the community, claimed the City of Rochelle was ignoring the problems faced by the north side of town, which has a high black population. City officials say race had nothing to do with it.

"Even the major, himself who is white lives on that side of town," said Rochelle City Attorney Jeffrey Monroe. "The allegation that this was something that was allowed to exist because the folks on that side of town were primarily African-American simply isn't so."

Without severe weather, the work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

 

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