John Howell Sr. Editorial 4/18/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 18, 2014

For everyone in Como public hearing next
Wednesday important

The single, most important immediate issue now facing Como residents — current rumors and events addressed during a special, called meeting Wednesday night to discuss personnel matters during executive session notwithstanding — is an April 23 deadline for the collection of letters, photos and videos that document sewer problems.

That’s next Wednesday when representatives of the North Delta Planning and Development District will hear about how bad problems with the town’s sewage treatment system are.
In December, certified water operator K. T. Newman said the system’s pumps and aerators were “both beyond their last leg.”

If you live in a house where sewage backs up during heavy rains or if you have trouble flushing or if sewage has ever backed up for any reason or no reason, you know how bad the problem is. Mayor Everette Hill, town aldermen and NDPDD need your help to make a convincing argument to the state to increase Como’s chances of receiving a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help pay for renovation of replacement of the existing treatment facility. They need your letters, photos and videos. They need your comments.

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This hearing is important to everyone who lives in Como. The longer the sewage treatment system is allowed to limp along, the greater risk town government faces of being fined for environmental violations. Fines could be steep for these violations.

If you know anyone who lives in Como and who has had sewer problems, urge them to write a letter. If you know anyone who has had sewer problems but who might be reluctant or have difficulty writing a letter, contact town hall at 526-9647. The mayor or any alderman will gladly help with a letter.

The mayor has done everything he can to increase Como’s chances to be selected for this year’s round of CDBG funding. That includes reaching out to the Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to get their input what sewage treatment is needed and how best to apply for it. It also includes the mayor working with NDPDD officials to learn how to improve Como’s score on its CDBG application.

But the most important factor for Como to score high on its grant application is for its citizens to join the mayor and aldermen to make sure the CDBG powers-that-be understand how serious the sewage problem in Como has become.

They need your letters, photos and videos at next Wednesday’s public hearing, 3 p.m. at the Town Hall. They need your comment.