Brandon, Miss. is among several Rankin County cities planning projects to increase water and sewer capacity. The cities are using grant money along with tax dollars to fund the improvements. The county had a 32 percent population increase from 87,655 in 1990 to 115,327 in 2000, according to census figures, the Clarion-Ledger reported.
The city of Flowood has spent $12.5 million in the past four years upgrading its water and sewer systems to open the city to hundreds of new homes, according to Garry Miller, public works director of Flowood.
"We know without the infrastructure in place to accommodate the development, the city of Flowood isn't going to grow," said Miller
According to Glen Thomas, water and sewer department manager of Richland, engineers are planning a $1.6 million project that will beef up lines, some "as old as the world." The city also will add a water tank and well that will nearly double the water pumped through the city.
"We were close to capacity," said Thomas. "It was time to start looking."
Currently, Brandon is completing a $5 million sewer project and planning a five-year water system upgrade that could cost between $8 million and $10 million, said Cathy Goolsby, public works director.
Brandon officials also want to add lines along the Mississippi 18 bypass near I-20 to accommodate the new Brandon High School and two housing developments that could bring 400 homes to the area, the Clarion-Ledger reported.