Lauderdale sups vote to create sewer district

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 22, 2001
A huge cheer and a round of applause went up in the packed Lauderdale County supervisors' boardroom Monday when the board voted 3-1 in favor of creating the Dalewood Sewer District.
Supervisors approved the district's creation in March but rescinded it because a petition filed by the Dalewood Property Owners Association was illegal.
After a new petition was filed, they voted again last month to support the district. People opposing the district's creation could have forced the matter to a vote by the people if they had gathered enough signatures on their own petition.
Dalewood resident Thomas Corn brought forth the petition Monday, but it lacked enough signatures.
He said some of the people who were against the district changed their mind after last month's public hearing. They decided to support the district because they were told they would have options to join the district or not.
He said district officials have a flawed design that won't allow them to borrow money, and they don't know how much the sewer system is going to end up costing residents.
He said a Mississippi Attorney General's opinion says sewer district officials can't come onto his property to put in a lift station without his permission.
Attorney Greg Malta, representing the Dalewood Property Owners Association, said Corn had presented "nothing new, just a recapitulation" of his comments at the public hearing, so "we don't have anything further to add."
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt asked Board Attorney Rick Barry to clarify Corn's statements about the attorney general's opinion.
Barry said "under the regulatory powers" of a soon-to-be appointed board of commissioners for the new district, "they can come to the board of supervisors and ask for the power of eminent domain" if they need to put a pumping station on an unwilling homeowner's property.
He said he has asked three people who oppose the district if they would be willing to serve on the board of commissioners and has gotten no response. He urged anyone interested in being part of that governing body to contact him.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell cast the lone vote against the district. He said he voted against it because it "doesn't have an option in it" for people who don't want to join. District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey abstained from voting because he owns property at Dalewood.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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