Residents Discuss Water District at Public Hearing

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It was standing room only at the Public Hearing regarding the Meridian Water District at City Hall tonight. A draft resolution to possibly bring water and sewer service to parts of the county that don't have it, and bring different water associations into the same district had many county residents upset. Otis Barrett of Suqualena was one of those residents.

"I don't really want anything to do with the city water taking over the county water. I believe the history of the way the city takes care of their business is a different way than the county takes care of theirs.

The resolution states that rural water associations are not required to join to the proposed district, and the city may not annex them without their consent. An attorney from Butler Snow out of Jackson hired by the city explained the resolution to the packed auditorium, but many people say their water is fine, and they don't want the city interfering with it.

"We are in a wonderful County area in Suqualena. We have no problems with our water, no problems with the water infrastructure."

Mayor Cheri Barry believes that this water district will benefit everyone by aiding in economic development. As federal funding for rural water associations dwindles, a water district could allow people in the county to continue with their water operations.

"It is a wonderful day to have so much input into the changes that are going to happen in Meridian, Mississippi. It's about growth, it's about development, it's about economic development. When the Governor stood here and gave us our check for $2.7 Million, he said that water and sewage follows economic development."

Most of the council was quiet regarding their position on the matter, but at the end of the hearing Councilman Bobby Smith made it known that he does not support this project. The Council should vote on it soon.