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Deadline approaches for line of credit petitions

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 13, 2002
Opponents of a county proposal to establish a $5 million line of credit with the state have less than a week to collect enough signatures on petitions to force a countywide vote.
Petitions demanding a vote have been circulating for more than a month. Petitions must have signatures from at least 1,500 residents by 9 a.m. Tuesday to force a vote.
Lauderdale County Supervisor Ray Boswell, who represents District 5 and who opposes the line of credit, said Tuesday that he has collected about 800 signatures on petitions.
Boswell said he has not personally campaigned door-to-door; he said the petitions were delivered to him. Others backing the petition drive could not be reached or refused to comment.
At issue: A plan county supervisors approved last month to create a $5 million line of credit with the Mississippi Development Bank.
Supervisors could draw from the pool of money to fund capital improvements. The county would borrow the money from the Mississippi Development Bank at 2.95 percent interest.
Lauderdale County Supervisor Jimmie Smith, who represents District 2, said that people who signs the petitions are supporting unnecessary spending.
If petitions have enough signatures, Smith said, the county would have to pay for election expenses.
He said the county cannot afford to wait until the November general election to decide the issue. The county could schedule an election at any time as long as a 30-day notice is given.