Thursday, August 11, 2011
Bond issue for sewer delayed
By SUE WATSON
The money for construction of a sewer system for two mobile home park areas on either side of Highway 72 at Cayce Road is on the rocks again.
Supervisors have had their hopes dashed again that bond money will be issued for the project which has been an economic development and health concern of long standing. The board has worried about raw sewage standing in ditches in the area.
The old lagoon systems, built for the dense housing in the park 30 or 40 years ago, have filled in and have been out of whack for a decade. Supervisors have been attempting to find money to build the sewer for at least five years and have come to the brink of obtaining funding to build a sewer system through the area several times, then had funding yanked.
The area affected is located along the two-lane section of Highway 72 near Cayce and also near the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
County board consultant Gary Anderson advised supervisors the bond issue project would normally move forward at the state’s bond sale that was scheduled for August. But politics, even national politics and debt woes, may have turned the tables on the project again, he said.
The state is calling off any action on bond indebtedness, awaiting the outcome of the lieutenant governor’s and treasurer’s races, both key races, he said.
Action on the bonds bills approved by the Legislature is handled by the bond committee – governor, attorney general and the treasurer, he said.
Supervisor Keith Taylor, in whose district the lagoons are located, said the state mandates something be done about the sewer, but the bond issue is being held up “because people are trying to get votes.”
He said the money to build the sewer system could fall back down on the taxpayers of the county - local government.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett expressed dismay that the Environmental Protection Agency has not already stepped in. He likened the sewage problem to Tunica County’s “Sugar Ditch.”
“What is the purpose of the EPA?” Bennett asked. “This took place years ago before we were elected. But Larry Hall can spill 10 gallons of fuel on the ground and they have to haul off 40 yards.”
Taylor said some of his constituents think it is time to call the television news crews in to call attention to the matter.
“I think people need to check and see who is holding this up,” he said. “It’s going to be thrown into our laps and people all over Marshall County will have to pay for it.”
Hall said the spotlight is on the impact on economic development that postponing the sewer system will hold over the county. The sewer area is located in a rapidly developing locale on Highway 72 at the two-lane and right in the middle of the area affected by the intermodal rail yard being built over the state line in Rossville, Tenn.
“Rumor is, if something doesn’t happen, something is going to happen,” he said.
Hall said to get money from the state, the county has to have matching money.
Anderson said last spring the candidates were talking about what a great credit rating the state had. But the bond sale coincided with the national debt ceiling debate, which he said has filtered down to Mississippi.
Now, people are arguing that the state does not need to issue more debt, he said.
“I think Governor Barbour said let’s hold things up until after the election. It’s the whole state that is affected. We’ve got to get past this political season and give people time to catch their breath,” Anderson said.
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