Advanced Wastewater Treatment Meeting

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Bay County and Callaway Commissioners have gone from pointing fingers to "siccing" lawyers on each other.

They're moving into a conflict resolution phase over problems with the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Cherry Street lift station.

How contentious is the dispute between Bay County and Callaway officials over the leak at the Cherry Street lift station? It's so contentious that Bay County commissioners refused to show up at a Callaway meting Tuesday night to discuss the problem.

The lift station, which is part of the Advanced Wastewater Treatment System, is leaking a toxic chemical that smells like rotten eggs.

Bay County attorney Terrell Arline said, "Yeah, stinks. Stinks really bad." Bay County owns the lift station, Callaway owns the collection system. Each claims the other is responsible for the repairs.

Callaway Mayor Thomas Abbott said, "Bay County has repaired with lift station. We sent Callaway a bill of $462,000 dollars, I don't know, a month or so ago and Callaway didn't pay the bill."

That 2010 repair project was the installation of an odor control system and there are still problems. Each hired different engineering firms to analyze the problem, but neither side can come to an agreement.

Bay County Commissioners skipped Tuesday night's meeting on the advice of their lawyer. Abbott insists Callaway's engineers have a solution that will work for both sides.

Callaway's engineers recommend replacing the entire system, which would cost up to $150,000.

City officials expect to receive Bay County's legal paperwork within 30 days.