BAYOU LA Batre, Ala. (WKRG) — Dozens of Bayou La Batre residents are upset with a decision by their utility board, that could leave them responsible for thousands of dollars of repairs.

The Bayou La Batre Utilities Board may do away with a maintenance agreement just at a time when customers think their equipment might be aging out. For over 10 years, the utility board has provided an $8.50 maintenance agreement for several of their customers.

According to Jay Ross, a representative for the Bayou La Batre Utilities Board, this agreement was established post-Hurricane Katrina to serve people that were on septic tanks.

“By hooking up to the sewer system, the utility board would maintain the pipes in the infrastructure in the ground from their house to work and to the sewer system,” said Ross.

Ross said this maintenance agreement was created to encourage them to get off septic tanks and have the sewer water go into a centralized sewer system.

However, due to several reasons, the utility board may consider terminating that agreement.

“Based on increased costs, lack of manpower, trying to find adequate train people to run the utility board properly,” said Ross.

Officials with the Bayou La Batre Utilities Board said less than 100 people are under this agreement. Shelia Dismuke is one of those customers under this maintenance agreement.

Dismuke came to Tuesday’s Utility Board meeting to speak out, in hopes the utility board will continue with this agreement.

“There was a small group of people around 100 who were given this option and they’ve paid their money all these years, and now the utility board feels like we’ve had it long enough and they can’t continue this agreement at this rate of pay and they don’t have the manpower,” said Dismuke.

Although the utility board has yet to make a decision on whether or not they will do away with this agreement, those who utilize it said they will continue to fight in order to keep it.

“If they decide this is something they don’t want to continue doing then the group will decide if then the group said they are willing to go forward with legal counsel,” said Dismuke.