Water Manager Controversy

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The Marion Board of Aldermen passed an order three to two to rescind the creation of the position of water manager. Mayor Malcolm Threatt vetoed the order, which the board will attempt to override in August.

A court victory for the city of Meridian last year, that allowed it to raise the rate it charges Marion for sewage treatment, caused the town to more than double the fees charged to its residents.

The Board of Aldermen voted this month to eliminate the job of water manager as a cost cutting measure. Mayor Threatt did not agree with the action.

"If we eliminate this job we're going to have to turn around and hire someone else to fill in on that job, because we eliminate one job and that leaves us with one fulltime and one parttime person," said Threatt. "And that's not enough in the water and sewerage department."

Doyle McKee, who holds the job, says he has more than enough work to keep busy.

"With the amount of building and everything that's going on in Marion, I handle the building and zoning administration duties in addition to the water," McKee said.

Alderman Elvis Hudson, who voted with the majority to eliminate the position, says the people can't stand the price increase.

"A family of four with garbage is running from $75 to $110 a month for water, sewage and garbage and the people around here just cannot afford that type of burden," said Hudson. "So we've got to look for some relief somewhere in the water so that the water department can fund more of the sewage bill."

Hudson said he thinks the residents would support a vote to override the mayor's veto.

"I didn't vote for it in the beginning. I didn't see the need for it. I still don't see the need for it and I don't think any of the citizens in Marion see the need for it," Hudson said.

A motion to override will be presented at the board's August meeting. It will need a four to one vote to pass.