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Swift Creek Residents Making a Stink Over Proposed Sewer Line

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WAKE COUNTY — How would you like to sit through a Sunday church service smelling raw sewage? Members of a church in the Swift Creek community say they may be about to find out.

The town of Cary is talking about putting in a new sewer line which could impact dozens of families. According to one plan, the outtake valve for the sewer line would be right next to the Swift Creek Baptist Church. The valve gives off serious odors.

The big question residents have is how can Cary run a sewer line through someone else's community?

"There's a possibility that over the years our church will die," says Pastor James Sides of the Swift Creek Baptist Church. He says the church is playing David to Cary's Goliath.

Cary may put a sewer outtake valve or near their property.

"How many people want to sit in a church that smells like that on a Sunday morning for an hour," asks Sides.

Omega Collins is one of about 15 homeowners in the Swift Creek community whose land could be affected by the sewer line.

"It would clip off the whole corner of my lot as I understand it," says Collins. "It's just total devastation to us. We're probably hit the hardest."

Neighbors are measuring the amount of land the line would require. They say dozens of trees would be lost.

"I just don't understand how a town which could worry so much about a red roof or a town which could worry so much about a diner could take out a canopy of trees like this," says resident Nadine Ham.

Cary leaders say residents of the community are jumping the gun; there are still two other sites under consideration.

"We're definitely considering other sites," says Cary engineer Tim Bailey. "I think some of the information we have been shared -- just in our conversations -- has lead us to believe that this may not be as good a route as we thought originally."

Until the plan is final, no one in this community feels they can rest easy.

"I think we all feel like we've had something stolen from us, we're being robbed. It's that feeling of being violated," says resident Don Deuel.

Town leaders say they would pay for any private land they take and any septic systems or wells which must be moved in the process.

People in the Swift Creek community feel if they were incorporated -- if they were a separate town -- they would have a better chance of fighting the town of Cary.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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