Street and sewer plans continue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

From recent billowing smoke near Interstate 65 and the moving of dirt, it appears that construction of Wal-Mart’s newest &uot;Big Box&uot; supercenter is not far off.

Wal-Mart has not set an exact date for the opening of the new store other than an anticipated date of next summer.

According to Mayor Dexter McLendon, as far as he knows everything is on track.

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&uot;I don’t talk to Wal-Mart, unlike what everyone may believe,&uot; he said.

&uot;People don’t understand this, but I don’t talk everyday to Wal-Mart.&uot;

He said Wal-Mart is doing what Wal-Mart does and he is doing what he does with the city.

He said the city’s commitment is simple.

&uot;Our job is to try to have the road finished by the middle of March or April,&uot; he said.

&uot;Other than that, that is all I know.&uot;

McLendon said again the city of Greenville has only committed $665,000 to the project of putting in the access street from Cahaba Road to Manningham Road and sewer lines.

&uot;Our commitment is $600,000,&uot; he said.

&uot;I can assure you that we have not approved anything above that amount.&uot;

As for the streets lights needed for the new street, McLendon said Alabama Power would install those.

&uot;With lights and everything, Alabama Power puts it in and then the city is responsible for the bill of powering the lights just as we do with street lights everywhere else,&uot; he said.

&uot;I have committed nothing more than we what we were going to build a road, before Wal-Mart ever said they were coming.

That’s it.

Other than that, they’re paying.&uot;

Jerry McCullough, Superintendent of the Water Works and Sewer Board, said plans for the new sewer lines are on schedule, but work has not started.

&uot;It has not been started as of yet it is in the planning,&uot; he said. &uot;Wal-Mart is going to install its own lift station and it is going to pump back into our system.

When this thing got started, the plan was to run sewer up under the interstate and connected with the main sewer line.&uot;

He plans changed when costs were put into play recently.

&uot;About a month ago, Wal-Mart said it would pay the costs of putting in a lift station, plus running the sewer back north to the existing sewer line at the intersection, where the Comfort Inn is located,&uot; he said. &uot;Currently, if the plan calls for any additional development (other businesses), the new development will pay for its own sewer line as well.&uot;

The superintendent said the decision not to run underneath the interstate was a financial one.

&uot;It would have been way too expensive to bore underneath the interstate,&uot; he said.

&uot;This way, we aren’t having to do such a project.&uot;

McCullough said despite what is being said, the Greenville Water and Sewer Board has spent nothing on the project.

&uot;As it stands right now the water board has not put out any money for Wal-Mart’s sewer line,&uot; he said. &uot;Regardless of what people are trying to get the public to believe, our employee morale couldn’t be better.

Whatever is good for the water board, I’m going to make happen.&uot;

As for the land where the Wal-Mart Supercenter will go, there is still some legal wrangling left.

Recently, a condemnation hearing was held in regards to acreage owned by the Allen family in the Butler County Probate Court.

McLendon testified an offer was made to purchase the Allen property for $5,000.

However, now the family apparently wants more for the land.

The family, which live in Texas, are contesting an appraisal that the city had performed.

Probate Judge Steve Norman said the family was having trouble finding an appraiser for the property, so both sides decided it was best to continue the matter until January.

Once an appraisal is performed they will compare the two and decide then what action to take.

In other land related to the old Wal-Mart store, the rumor began to circulate that Winn-Dixie Marketplace had decided to put the Greenville on the real estate market and leave the city.

McLendon was dismayed by the rumor.

&uot;I find that real shocking knowing what kind of numbers they do out there at that store,&uot; he said.

On Tuesday, Winn-Dixie’s corporate office firmly let it be known they are in Greenville to stay.

&uot;We have absolutely no plans to chose that store,&uot; Public Relations Director Kathy Lussier said.

&uot;We look forward to continue our service to the people of Greenville with the best store in the area.&uot;

Lussier said Winn-Dixie has a strong relationship with the people of Greenville and they intend to stay here no matter whom their competition may be.

Coming Saturday:

What will the new Wal-Mart Supercenter do to area traffic?

Coming Wednesday:

What does the new store mean for existing businesses?