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Tuscaloosa residents have created a petition in response to a foul smell emanating from the sewer near the Dollar General between Hargrove Road and McFarland Boulevard.

The petition, which already has over 600 signatures, states that residents have been told that it is going through City Council "for price negotiating and budget meetings" but the issue is still unresolved.

John Faile, a retired Tuscaloosa Police Department Captain running for a city council seat in March said that sewer has been a problem for over 20 years.

"The gas comes right up out of it and it is awful when that happens," Faile said. "I [spoke] to one lady and she said that she quit going to Dollar General because it smelled so bad."

Faile, who has been a Tuscaloosa resident since 1962, said that he hopes the issue gets fixed even though it may cost the city a lot of money.

The sewer, known as Lift Station 42, is a part of the line that serves the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance. According to Mayor Walt Maddox, the entire line is in the midst of a $12 million renovation but one of the major issues is that the line is not used enough.

"That's not good because you have gas built up in the sewer line which causes deterioration along the 15-17 miles between Mercedes and Lift Station 42," Maddox said in an exclusive interview with The Tuscaloosa Thread. "So the city's been in a massive project with that. As a part of the overall project, we've hired an engineering firm, TTL, to come in and help us re-engineer Lift Station 42. The way it was engineered back in the early '90s anticipated more growth, frankly, in the Mercedes line, and that never happened."

Maddox said that it may cost the city more than $1 million to redesign the station but despite the potentially high price tag the city is "committed" to fixing the sewer.

"This is not the first time this situation has come up, it's just gotten worse every solution that we have tried to design around, it has not worked," Maddox said. "So we are going back to the drawing board for a more comprehensive solution."

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