Upcoming special election to approve electric provider in Laurel

Upcoming special election to approve electric provider in Laurel

LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Laurel held a news conference Monday to discuss an upcoming special election to determine if the city will continue with a non-exclusive electric franchise with Mississippi Power.

The election will take place Monday, Aug. 3 at the Train Depot on North Main Street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If approved, Mississippi Power will continue to pay a 3% franchise fee that brings in about $1.6 million to the city annually.

With the non-franchise option, Mississippi Power will only pay 2%, which is about $1.1 million.

Absentee voting started Monday at Laurel City Hall. To fill out an absentee ballot, you can visit City Clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until July 31 and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Mayor Johnny Magee said the extra funds from the 3% will be beneficial to the city.

“We get an extra percentage of the franchise tax, which is about half a million dollars,” Magee said. “So we use that money to buy police cars, to pay police salaries, to buy fire trucks, pay the fireman salaries,” Magee said. “Because this money goes into the general fund and it just gives us extra money in order to do the things we need to do.”

This election happens every 25 years.

Magee encouraged voters to wear masks at the polls.

Copyright 2020 WDAM. All rights reserved.