From the Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Clearly frustrated residents of the Windsong neighborhood appeared before the Trussville City Council for the third time this year with concerns that the centerpiece of their community, two normally emerald green lakes, remain a muddy orange due to erosion from a nearby construction site.
Donna Ware, a resident of Windsong addressed the city council with concerns about erosion into the Windsong lakes from the Stockton construction site on the hill above the neighborhood. It was the third time since March that residents have approached the city with the problem.
Ware mentioned a letter from Mayor Buddy Choat from November of 2020 in which she said she was assured that the problem with the pollution would be dealt with.
In addition to the letter, Windsong residents approached the city for help on March 30 and April 13 of this year.
Ware shared photos with the council showing the current erosion in the lake. “The problem has not improved,” Ware said.
Ware referenced a city ordinance authorizing Trussville to issue a stop-work order and requested that the city issue the order until the problem is resolved.
“Other municipalities do this routinely,” Ware said. “I myself called Hoover today. I spoke to the silt fence guy myself who said it is not unusual to issue a stop-work order if there is sediment running from a construction site. They do it all the time.”
Ware said residents have waited for months for the city to take action.
Choat told the council and residents that he has had conversations with ADEM and that fines were issued and an engineering firm, Spectrum Group, had been hired by Signature Homes. All parties agreed that some work to stop the erosion was evident, but photos and drone video showed it was not resolved and the work was insufficient.
“We’re not interested in excuses,” Ware said. “We’d like you to pay attention to the citizens.”
Several other Windsong residents also addressed the council. Shannon Martin told councilors that this was the third time she had come to them about the problem.
“The year we had the hundred-year flood, when it goes in Regions bank, that lake wasn’t muddy,” Dr. David Dobbs said, contrasting the current condition.
The council agreed to discuss the matter further at the next work session.
Following the meeting, councilors Ben Short and Lisa Bright expressed frustration with the continuing erosion problems.
When asked how long the city should wait before issuing a stop-work order during discussions with Signature Homes, Short said he felt like that was a conversation he should have with the mayor.
“I’ll evaluate where we are and hopefully have some answers by the next workshop,” Short said
“Truthfully, I think it’s gone on long enough,” Bright said. “I think they’ve been given ample opportunity. There’s been a lot of talk about moratoriums tonight so I just think it’s about time. That’s (the erosion in the lake) just too much damage, in my opinion.”