- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Hattiesburg City Council members have voted to override a veto from the mayor and go ahead with land application as the solution to its wastewater issues.

The council made the 4-1 vote Wednesday in a special-called meeting.

Council members had voted Dec. 18 to adopt the land-based application for the city. Mayor Johnny DuPree vetoed the decision in a letter to council Tuesday.

Council President Kim Bradley said now the city can move forward with plans to implement the land-application system. Attorneys and city representatives will soon meet with Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials to discuss the system, she said.

DuPree and Councilwoman Deborah Delgado are in favor of a mechanical system.

A land-application system cleans wastewater by reclaiming and reusing it before applying it to the land by irrigation methods. Mechanical treatment systems use natural processes within a constructed environment, like lagoons.

The mayor cited several reasons for his veto, including environmental issues and unresolved land acquisition issues.

Bradley explained Dec. 18 that the cost of a land-based system is less, and it wouldn’t require the city to close current lagoons.

The next step is for engineers to appraise the land-application system, which may take a couple months.

Bradley said the land-application system will cost somewhere between $115 million and $120 million. Council members voted in December to borrow funds to pay for whichever system was chosen by entering into a loan with the Mississippi Development Bank in an amount not to exceed $25 million.

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