Hattiesburg councilwoman suggests outside party review sewer rates

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg did not raise sewer rates in an effort to finance the wastewater treatment project due to a mayor's veto, but the possibility of that raise has been mentioned regardless of the type of facility chosen.

Ward Four councilwoman Mary Dryden is suggesting to the council Monday that an outside party review the sewer rates for the city and recommend any changes.

"This is having an objective third party, so that it takes it out of the city having to make this determination, because that's a very hard one to do," said Dryden.

She is recommending Jason Barrett of the Mississippi State Extension Office, who led a municipalities' utilities class that Dryden attended at this year's Mississippi Municipal League conference in Biloxi.

"Those recommendations can then build on the foundation of what we determine that they would be right now without any additional services added," Dryden said of the possible raise in rates, which Hattiesburg residents have not experienced in several years.

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree has addressed the likelihood of a raise in rates, and the service that Dryden recommends is free of charge to the city.

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