New wastewater system in the works

September 9, 2009 9:56:00 AM

Tim Pratt -


STARKVILLE -- Residents with no access to public wastewater systems in eastern Oktibbeha County could soon find a new treatment option in place.  


The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed formation of the East Oktibbeha Waste Water District, which would extend new wastewater lines to residents east of Starkville. The hearing on the estimated $3.3 million project is scheduled during the board''s Oct. 5 meeting, set for 10 a.m. in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.  


If the project ultimately comes to fruition, more than 800 residents who live east of Starkville would have the chance to use the new wastewater lines, though residents would not legally be required to hook up, said Ryan Gray, a property owner who is helping organize the new waste water district. Gray on Tuesday presented the board with signatures of 62 petitioners who are in favor of the plan. 


After the October public hearing, the board would have to adopt a resolution of creation, which would establish the district. Supervisors would then appoint five commissioners to run the district. 


District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said he''s excited about the prospect of new waste water lines.  


"That''s going to be one of the best things that ever happened to this county," Trainer said Tuesday afternoon. "It''s going to make our potential blossom. It''s going to be good for our tax base. It''s going to be good for our schools. It''s going to be good for everybody." 


Engineer Stanley Spradling, of West Point, spoke about the benefits of the project, not only from an environmental standpoint, but also from an economic development angle.  


"I think it''s going to draw significant improvements to the area," Spradling said. 


Residents who operate on private sewer, septic and lagoon systems would be eligible to hook into the new wastewater lines once the project is complete. The new lines would hook into existing lines operated by Mississippi State University. The waste ultimately would flow into the city of Starkville''s treatment system.  


According to Gray, the new district''s commissioners would work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on funding for the project. Revenues generated once the lines are up and running also would help with costs. 


The project would require no county money, Gray said. And if the system does fail, responsibility wouldn''t lie with the county, Gray said, because the new district would be a separate entity. 


"Were it to fail, it would not fall back on the county," Gray said. 


For now, however, Gray and the supervisors are looking forward to the October public hearing, which Trainer emphasized is still one of the first steps in the creation process.