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Brookhaven can’t offer sewer in all areas — Annexation improvement plan has started

Not everyone living in the areas of Brookhaven affected by the Annexation Improvements Project will get full services from the city.

City engineer Mike McKenzie, a principal with WGK Engineers & Surveyors, made a request Tuesday night of the Board of Aldermen to look through their maps he gave them last month to know who in those areas will need to keep septic tanks or water wells.

“There’s bound to be an area or somebody that you thought we were going to hook up, but we’re not,” he said.

The city has started the process to run water and sewer lines in several areas including Moreton Estates, Lakewood Village, Pandora Subdivision, Crooked Lane and a portion of Country Club Drive as well as several others.

Aldermen voted in February to finalize two 20-year loans — which total $8.5 million — to begin the Annexation Improvements Project. The loans, through the State Revolving Fund, are from Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for sewer service and the state Department of Health for water. The MDEQ loan is for $5,583,000 at 1.95 percent. The MDH loan is for $2,934,000 at 1.75 percent. Both are for 237 months.

Water will go to most, but some won’t get it and even more won’t get sewer.

“Let’s go ahead and get it explained to them sooner than later,” McKenzie told the aldermen. “The longer they sit out there thinking, ‘Well, they’re coming to get me. They’re coming to get me.’ And then we don’t get them, you and I are going to end up looking more like a goat than a hero.”

The Annexation Improvements Project includes the following areas:

• Water and sewer into Deer Run.

• Water and sewer into Moreton Estates.

• Water only along Natchez Drive from Zetus Road to Hwy 84.  

• Sewer only into Lakewood Village. 

• Water only out East Monticello to Crooked Lane, up Crooked Lane to Old Highway 51, along Ozark Lane to Williams Street, and along Williams Street between Ozark Lane and Crooked Lane. 

• Water only along Sawmill Lane between Old Highway 51 and Industrial Park Road.

• Water along Hwy. 51 North from Industrial Park Road to New Sight Drive.

• Sewer along Hwy. 51 North from Heritage Family Church to New Sight Drive and into Pandora Subdivision.

• Sewer only into Weed Lane,  a portion of Country Club Drive and a portion of North Jackson Street.  

• Water only along Union Street Extension, from Industrial Park Road to I-55.

McKenzie said it’s not feasible to run sewer lines in some areas because of the cost involved to serve areas with large developed lots and large undeveloped tracts of land. Natchez Drive won’t get sewer lines for that reason. Neither will Sawmill Lane between Old Highway 51 and Industrial Park Road or Union Street Extension from Industrial Park Road to I-55.

Lakewood Village will only get sewer lines because the area is already served by the Topisaw Water Association.

Weed Lane,  a portion of Country Club Drive and a portion of North Jackson Street are served already by the city for water so only sewer lines will be added.

Water lines will be run out East Monticello Road to Crooked Lane, up Crooked Lane to Old Highway 51, along Ozark Lane to Williams Street, and along Williams Street between Ozark Lane and Crooked Lane. Some of those areas where houses are more concentrated will also get sewer services, McKenzie said.

The weather has been cooperating with contractors on the project.

“Everything’s off to a good start,” he said. “We’ve got a ton of work to do, but we’ve got a lot of time left.”

Besides paying for extension of water and sewer lines into the neighborhoods, the project also includes renovations and repairs of the Brookhaven Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Greenbriar was the lowest bidder for the water and sewer expansion at $6,390,000. The treatment plant renovations are another $1.1 million, and the rest is engineering and other associated costs, McKenzie said.

The idea of the project began in 2005 when Brookhaven began the process of annexing parts of Lincoln County, which officials said was to keep the city fiscally viable. The annexation came with the promise of expanding city services including fire protection, police services, parks, road maintenance, solid waste and water and sewer to annexed areas. Once homes are connected, residents will start receiving bills from the city for those fee-based services.