Thursday, December 4, 2008
IDA seeks funds for sewer work
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Industrial Development Authority is short between $600,000 and $700,000 in funds to complete the construction of a proposed sewer project.
The project will provide service to residents of two old mobile home parks and small subdivisions near Cayce Road and Highway 72, according to Del Stover with the county IDA. The project will also serve six commercial establishments.
The board of supervisors helped notch the project ahead last month by approving a contract with the Mississippi Development Authority that would secure about $900,000 for the proposed $1.6 million project. IDA and the board of supervisors hope to complete the funding of the project from other state sources, such as a low-interest loan from the Department of Environmental Quality.
Stover said the project amounts to the extension of sewer service from the Chickasaw Trails Water System to the parks and subdivisions in the area near Cayce Road.
Because about 90 percent of the residents in the project area fit into a low-income or very low income bracket, the board of supervisors is also discussing local and private legislation from the Legislature next year that would allow the billing to be structured for residents similar to the way the county structures its rates for garbage service. The legislation is needed so the sewer bill would ultimately fall back on the property owner, if residents fail to pay their bill, said board attorney Kent Smith.
Stover said constructing the sewer service with low-interest loans and grants will help keep sewer bills down for renters who cannot pay a $40 to $50 dollar a month sewer bill.
Supervisors have said the unserved area is an embarrassment due to odor which motorists traveling into or out of the county can smell along Highway 72 near Cayce Road.
If the shortfall is not available from low-interest state funds, supervisors likely will have to pay for the shortfall with a millage assessment, they said.
In road and bridge matters, county engineer Larry Britt advised supervisors that the season is getting short for working asphalt, and some paving that was scheduled for this year may be delayed.
“I’m getting nervous about weather and some overlays may have to be put off until spring,” he said. “If it’s too cool (when asphalt is spread), it will ride rough.”
Bridge builders were expected to drive a test pile at the bridge site on Old Highway 7 South this week, he said.
In zoning matters, the board heard a complaint from Roger Mitchell about loud music and talk at or behind East Side Grocery on Chewalla Lake Road. He alleged the grocery was in essence a beer joint operating under a grocery store business permit.
“Gentlemen, I am tired of it,” he said. “There is no sense I have to sit up Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights listening to booming music. Either make a grocery out of it or close it down. I’m sick of it . No threats; I want it stopped.”
Mitchell said the loud music and talk had been a problem for the neighborhood for “going on 12 years.”
“Everybody out there is complaining,” he said.
He alleged that loud music and talk many times seemed to come from behind the grocery near a house, where groups gathered to party.
Supervisor Willie Flemon said the matter should be taken up at zoning or the sheriff could be called.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett said the store had to show record of selling enough food in order to keep its beer license and if it has no proof the county could close it.
Attorney Kent Smith recommended the board file a petition in circuit court.
“This board gives a license but it cannot take it away,” he said. “A judge has to do that. We will file for the license to be revoked and put it on the docket. We would press just like we did in the Bossman Barbecue case.”
In other business, the board of supervisors;
“But we want it for $100 or less,” she said.
The next meeting of the board of supervisors
is December 15 at 9 a.m. in the county boardroom.
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