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Former Meridian mayor to tout annexation, sewer plans tonight

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 21, 2003
Former Meridian Mayor Jimmy Kemp and a group of engineers today plan to give city councilmen their take on Meridian's annexation plans and services they provide to the town Marion.
Kemp and a group from his engineering firm, Kemp Associates, are scheduled to make their presentation during the Meridian City Council's regular 5:30 p.m. meeting at the city's municipal courtroom in the downtown police station.
Kemp would not go into detail about his plan, but said that his group was "representing what we feel to be the best interest of the area."
Since 1987, Meridian has been treating Marion's sewer.
Tension between the two neighboring municipalities heated earlier this year when a Lauderdale County chancery judge ruled that Meridian could begin charging Marion $2.43 cents per thousand gallons of treated sewage up from 67.7 cents per thousand gallons.
The ruling ended a two-year battle over the sewage rate. Marion has since fallen behind on its sewer bill and has owed as much as $60,000 to Meridian in past-due bills.
Marion Mayor Malcolm Threatt has contended that his system's leaky pipes have allowed rain water to enter the sewer lines, doubling the amount of water Marion sends to Meridian for treatment, and creating huge spikes in the amount of each month's bill.
And, Threatt said, Meridian officials have been less than understanding of the smaller town's situation and claims Meridian is bullying its way toward annexing Marion by not being lenient.
Marion and Meridian have also clashed recently in heated annexation battles Meridian winning the most recent skirmish last year when it thwarted Marion's plans to annex parts of north Lauderdale County.