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New sewer district for Dalewood approved

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 6, 2001
Fifty people showed up Monday at a public hearing to see the Lauderdale County board of supervisors accept their petition and vote to approve the creation of a new sewer district in the Dalewood community.
The residents, represented by the Dalewood Property Owners Association, came with reinforcements attorney Greg Malta, ESI engineers designing the project and Charlie Busler of the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Busler said the problem cannot be solved by individual property owners.
Dalewood residents have been working toward the creation of a new sewer district for three years, and say they are more than willing to pay for construction costs themselves. The catch is that the Dalewood Property Owners Association does not qualify for low-interest loans an independent sewer district does.
Supervisors wanted to know if the new district would place an additional burden on taxpayers.
Malta and the supervisors' board attorney, Rick Barry, said it would not. They said supervisors would appoint a board of commissioners to the new district. The commissioners would take out loans, advertise for bids to construct the new sewer system and figure out how the loans would be repaid by the district.
The lone voice of dissent came from Thomas Corn Jr., who said two of the petition's signers are not Dalewood residents and a third is not a property owner. He said state law requires the petition to include cost of construction and the addresses of people signing it. He said it has neither.
Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of creating the district as long as the petition checks out. District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey abstained because he owns property in Dalewood.
If the petition is approved, and there is no opposing counter-petition, supervisors could finalize their decision as early as April 16.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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