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Infrastructure projects coming to Sumrall

Engineering phase underway for water line and drainage ditch improvements
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:13 PM CST
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SUMRALL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Town of Sumrall has some big plans in the works. Mayor Joel Lofton and the town council wrapped up hosting “What Wards Want” town hall-style meetings this month and have ideas they are putting into action.

Lofton says infrastructure is one of the people’s biggest interests, including water lines.

“We’ve had a lot of questions about drainage about water and about sewer services. Those are issues that are important to people because without proper water or sewage serving your home or your business. You got real issues there. So folks want to know that it’s in good shape and we’re trying to make sure that we have a viable service system for a very long time,” says Lofton.

After reviewing the systems in place, Lofton says there is room for some upgrades.

“We don’t have any tremendously large issues at the moment. But we’ve got a situation where we’re utilizing an aging system. We don’t have the ability to isolate areas when we have a problem,” explains Lofton.

That’s why he and other town leaders are looking into upgrading the water line system with valves to make it easier to work on any future repairs or issues.

“The last major issue that we had required that we take the entire town, off the water system for almost a full day. That’s not good for businesses. It’s not good for homeowners. It’s not good for anyone here to have to do that,” Lofton says.

Town leaders agree the project should get underway as soon as possible. Council has already approved the first steps.

“Our engineering firm is undergoing the preliminary work to identify the best places for the valves and to make the recommendations that will bring before the board before the work begins. I would hope that we see work beginning within this year actually before New Years. We have an area in mind now that will be the initial phase. But we’ll carry this out throughout time through different areas in town,” Lofton explains.

Lofton says another concern he’s looking at right now are drainage ditches and culverts.

“We’ve got some drainage issues and this is not sewer drainage, but this is stormwater runoff that has negatively impacted various communities within our town. We are working very hard to make sure that we engineer properly and that we have an appropriate fix. Starting at the downflow in and working our way back up to make sure that people’s properties are draining appropriately through the town right of ways and ditches that we have, you know we can’t go on private property and work but if we have ditches that are not doing their job and they’re in the public right of way, it’s our duty to make sure that that’s taken care of,” Lofton explains.

He says work should start soon on that project as well.

“So we will be working on culverts on ditches, that is currently in the design phase. We’ve had some engineering going on we have some survey going on at the moment and hopefully we’ll begin that as quickly as we’re able to pass that recommendation to the board. The board has approved the actions to take place so far,” Lofton says.

Lofton expects both projects to fit into the city’s annual budget for upgrades to infrastructure. Numbers and timelines will be proposed to the council for approval within the month.

Lofton posts a weekly update to the Facebook group ‘Monday Mayor’s Minute’ and it is available in print to pick up at Town Hall as well. Town Hall is located at 4880 MS-589, Sumrall, MS 3948. You can reach out to the Town Hall at (601) 758-3591 or TownofSumrall@gmail.com.

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