Shelby County discusses prelim plans for county sewer system

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Officials are releasing new details about a preliminary plan to create a sewer system in Shelby County.

This comes after the City of Memphis announced weeks ago that it would no longer do new sewer hook-ups in the county.

"We weren't expecting it at all but it is huge," said Shelby County Commissioner Heidi Shafer. "It's going to be one of the biggest things to happen in the county in the next three to five years."

That huge project is Shelby County's very own sewer system. The county and commissioners are in preliminary discussions after the City of Memphis announced it was no longer allowing new connections to the city's sewer system.

The Shelby County Mayor's Office presented the very preliminary steps for the sewer system if the county decides to go forward.

"There's a lot of steps that have to be done," said Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy.

The city has said it is about putting Memphis first. Some feel the city has been subsidizing new growth in the county with the sewer service.

If the county builds the sewer system with a treatment plant it will serve new residents and businesses that move into unincorporated areas.

"We haven't done this before, and we really don't have any idea," Kennedy said.

If the county builds it, it will take three to five years to complete. The city has said it will work something out with developers in the county who have already started building.

"Normally sewers are paid for by enterprise funds, which means only people who use it pay for them," Shafer said.

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