By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Residents of Nan Harston Gardens may see some relief from utility problems after a Friday hearing with the neighborhood’s developer, past and present city officials and the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The hearing will be at Saltillo City Hall at 9 a.m.
The Department of Health issued a hearing notice for developer James B. Shannon IV and past and present city officials to answer questions about the water system in Nan Harston Gardens.
The order says the MSDH has reason to believe the neighborhood’s water system violates the Mississippi Safe Drinking Water Act of 1997.
The complaint alleges a four-inch water line was constructed without obtaining approval of the public water supply and the same water line was constructed directly beneath nine homes, compromising the structure of the homes.
Wayne Berry moved to the neighborhood to retire five years ago, oblivious to the fact a water main ran under his house until a line burst between his house and his neighbor.
Berry said he has tried to contact the developer for relief but has had no luck.
“We’re not a cruel bunch of folks, we just want what we invested our money in and we haven’t got that,” he said.
An administrative hearing officer will be present to issue an order at the end of the hearing.
“An administrative order to remedy the situation could be issued to any of the parties involved in the project,” said Karen Walters, director of compliance and enforcement for MSDH’s Bureau of Public Water Supply. “To correct the problem, engineering plans and specifications for relocation of the lines must be prepared by a professional engineer and submitted to MSDH for review and written approval.”
Mississippi law says the director can issue a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation and for each day the violation isn’t remedied.
Saltillo Mayor Bill Williams said while the city serves the neighborhood with water, they won’t accept a dedication of the water lines because they were installed without approval from the health department.
The Daily Journal attempted to reach Shannon through several phone numbers he has previously used, but in each case a recording responded that they were unworking numbers.