Water overflow and sewer seepage have been a common problem for years in low lying areas along the Coast, and Ocean Beach Estates in Ocean Springs is no exception. Now, thanks to government funding, new sewer lines are available to residents for low cost. Jimmy Heidelberg, the General Councilor for the Jackson County Utility Authority (J.C.U.A.), says, "Connections to the systems we built water and sewer systems in several areas of the county where the systems are ready for connections and we're trying to get people to hook up to them while we have funding available to do that." Director for the J.C.U.A., Tommy Fairfield, says the cost does vary from home to home, but the account fee could be as low as $50. Without the block grant funding, the process could cost thousands to the home owners. Fairfield says, "Everybody has 50 dollars for the account origination. The only other cost you have in that particular area depends on your house, whatever it takes to get the power feed there. We council every home owner. We come in and explain what is going to be installed, so that's varies by individual."
Officials with the J.C.U.A. say the funding is available on a first come first serve basis and the funds will no longer be available after March 31st. Heidelberg also says, "Mandatory connections are required, so because of various reasons, you have to connect and we want to do that in a fashion that would utilize the funding and make it as easy and less expensive on the residents as we can. After a period of time, the funding will expire and they will have to pay for it themselves.” Residents who are affected will soon receive letters in the mail about deadlines they have to meet. For more information on how to connect to the new sewer line, you can go to the county website at www.jacksoncountyutility.com, or you can reach them by phone at (228) 762-0119.