- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Hattiesburg City Council members voted to enter into a loan that’ll be used for improving and repairing the city’s water and sewer system.

The council voted for the loan Monday during a special-called meeting, The Hattiesburg American reported (https://hatne.ws/1NkDfw2 ). The loan will be entered into with the Mississippi Development Bank in an amount not to exceed $25 million.

“We intend to have a line of credit for $25 million, so whenever we identify the system that we’re going to use, we enter into an agreement that we’re going to have the means to pay for it,” City Council President Kim Bradley said. “This is like a construction loan - the permanent financing is either State Revolving Funds, or either bonds that we will sell.

The city missed a September deadline to have design plans finalized and submitted to state and federal agencies for approval. As a result, the city has been fined $1,500 a day, and will continue to be fined until plans are submitted.

“It became very clear that it didn’t matter if we were doing a mechanical system of if we were building a land application system, that the need for available money has got to be in place before we enter into an agreement or before we could begin construction,” Bradley said.

Bradley said the council expects to choose in December between land application and mechanical application. Estimated costs of a new system for Hattiesburg fall between $100 million and $200 million.

“This is just the first step,” Mayor Johnny DuPree said.


Information from: The Hattiesburg American, https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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