Tupelo, North Lee negotiators ‘optimistic’ about water service

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djournal-lee-countyBy Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The city’s negotiations to provide water to residents in annexed areas currently served by the North Lee County Water Association have been described as “positive” by representatives on both sides.

Tupelo officials continue to advance plans to provide city services such as sewer and full fire protection offered to other city residents. As part of this multi-million-dollar process, the city would like to provide water service to residents, who currently pay higher rates from North Lee.

Tupelo Water & Light director Johnny Timmons, one of four city officials negotiating with the rural water association, said talks Thursday indicated the two sides could reach an agreement.

“I left the meeting feeling very good about the way things are going,” he said. “I think it was very positive.”

The two sides must agree to the level of compensation the city will provide North Lee for transferring water service to 442 existing and future customers. Any agreement must receive approval by the state’s Public Service Commission.

David Morgan, a member of the North Lee board of directors, said everyone involved in talks seems to have the water customers’ best interest in mind.

“I’m very optimistic that this isn’t going to be a very long, drawn-out process,” he said. “I don’t foresee any real issues.”

robbie.ward@journalinc.com