- Cullman, Alabama

November 23, 2012

REGIONAL: NE Itawamba water board studies options

Associated Press

FULTON, Miss. — An agreement between Northeast Itawamba Water Association and Franklin County, Ala., to connect their water systems has been declared invalid.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that the contract was signed in January but little has been done on the $3 million project.

NIWA board president Ralph Burkes told Alabama officials the contract is no good.

Burkes says a former board president signed the pact without board approval — a violation of the bylaws.

“Not a person sitting up here now knew anything about that contract when it was signed,” Burkes told the Franklin County representatives. “I was on the board when that contract was signed and by the time I even knew there was a contract, it was already signed.”

Burkes says the board has not abandoned the Alabama project but is looking at other options.

Last month, the board voted to hire Cook Coggins Engineering to look into connecting the regional water system to the City of Fulton’s water system to provide water for customers in the Salem area.

That study is expected to be completed within the next 30 days.

“You don’t have to run away,” Burkes told the Franklin County representatives. “We’re going to have to get water from somewhere. We’re just looking at Fulton, too.”

Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal