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Monticello opposes One Lake proposal

The Town of Monticello wants nothing to do with a Jackson-area proposal to build a new dam across the Pearl River.

At their Monday night meeting, the town aldermen endorsed an official resolution against the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District’s One Lake initiative, a Jackson-based flood control plan that would increase water supplies in the capital but limit the river’s flow in Lawrence County. By passing the motion, Monticello joins several Louisiana municipalities in direct opposition to the dam initiative.

During a non-related discussion, the board also elected to increase city water and sewer rates. Mayor Martha Watts said the pricing overhaul is necessary for the long-term maintenance and repair of the town’s water treatment facilities.

“We asked the rural water association to perform an audit on our water and sewer charges, and they discovered we were running on a shortage,” she said.

The RWA found that Monticello has been heavily undercharging its water and sewer customers, and the water treatment facility operated at an approximate $47,000 loss last year.

The aldermen voted to do away with the town’s $4 water user rate, and they will now charge $20 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used per consumer. Watts said the price hike would affect both residential and industrial water customers.

Furthermore, after completing a costly riverbank restoration project at Atwood Water Park, city officials have decided to make full use of the newly-refurbished waterfront.

Board members voted to install six camper pedestals near the riverbank where three rental cottages once stood. The campsites will offer full camper hookups with water, electricity and sewer service connections.

Each pedestal will cost $45 per day for full hookup and $35 per day for only water and electrical access. Watts believes the new rental sites will contribute to Atwood’s overall recreational appeal.