News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Treatment plant odor is unique to Decatur
To The Daily: The smell at the waste treatment plant on Alabama 20 in Decatur has been an ongoing problem since the early í80s.

I went to school at Leon Sheffield Elementary. It was a problem then, as far as I can remember. The school had no air-conditioning at that time and open windows was the only ventilation we had. We could not concentrate because of the smell.

The city of Decatur spent thousands of dollars on a perfume system to alleviate the smell but that didnít work because the smell is still there.

I drive a truck from coast to coast for a living. There is no other state that has this problem, Why donít Chicago, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, etc. have this problem? Is this a case of poor management within the city of Decatur? In the Memphis waste treatment plant, they burn off the methane gas, causing no smell. This process would cost Decatur money, but it would help get rid of the smell. Thousands of truck drivers and commuters use this route between Chattanooga and Memphis, and all of them know when they have reached Decatur.

Welcome to Decatur!

Charles Ricks


Substance-abuse services need more state funding
To The Daily: Substance abuse is an issue that affects all of us. Most everyone has a friend or family member who has an alcohol or drug problem.

There are approximately 300,000 individuals in Alabama who need substance-abuse treatment. Right now, only 19,000 receive service through the public system. Of those 19,000, 65 percent are criminal justice referrals.

It has become increasingly more difficult for the average person who is not in the legal system to access substance-abuse services. We need intensive outpatient programs in the 22 counties that currently have no substance-abuse services available. We also desperately need additional programs that provide prevention services.

The current advocacy movement, Friends of Recovery, Morgan, Limestone, Lawrence and Cullman counties, and The Alabama Voices for Recovery, is enlisting the publicís assistance to influence Gov. Bob Riley to review the budget and increase the amount of funding for new and innovative programs that will keep individuals out of the legal system and on the path to recovery.

We encourage everyone to call or write Gov. Riley and their legislators to make their voices heard on this important issue.

Buren L. Smith
President, FORMLL


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