Construction of two of three proposed sewer projects were approved by the Columbia City Council before 9 p.m. Monday.
The first approved project is for the rehabilitation of approximately 44,000 feet of sewer line. It is expected to cost $2.7 million.
The second project is for sewer improvements on Bingham and Ridgeley roads.
During the public comment portion, one resident who lives on Aldeah Avenue said the city needs to re-prioritize and focus more on areas that have been experiencing chronic sewer backups, saying she has gotten E. coli from all of the sewage sitting in her basement
“The thing that upsets me the most is my health concerns and for people in my neighborhood, but it’s also financial and that when we have a backup we have to stay home and we have to take a day off of work,” she said.
Monday night, the city council also approved moving forward with design plans on a third project.
The Henderson Branch sewer extension project had been put on hold for years and would involve a $4.3 million construction of sewer stretching from west Columbia to the area near Midway Travel Plaza. Some residents have voiced concerns regarding the price. A 2013 bond issue was voted on to use $2.6 million for the project instead of $4.3 million.
Councilman Karl Skala and Councilman Ian Thomas both voted not to move forward with the project and the design. Both echoed the same concerns of putting more priority in taking care of current projects instead of adding on to the work load.