Desoto County News

Judge rules in wastewater treatment dispute with Memphis

The Horn Lake Creek Basin Interceptor Sewer District has learned it now has eight years before it will be responsible to treat its sewage instead of the city of Memphis. During that time, the district must build and begin operating its own wastewater treatment facility, a facility that could cost more than $200 million. 

A ruling from U.S. District Judge Mark Norris of Memphis this week also said there will now be a new rate schedule for the district.

The district and the city of Memphis has been embroiled in a legal battle that was heard during a court case, a case ending with the ruling from Judge Norris.  

As part of the ruling, the city of Memphis will keep treating wastewater from DeSoto County with the district under a fee schedule that will increase in each of the eight years, a period that starts Oct. 1.  The schedule is determined with a formula included in the court ruling.  

The Horn Lake Creek Interceptor Sewer District must also file an estimated construction schedule on or before Dec. 29.  

Horn Lake, Southaven, and parts of unincorporated DeSoto County have had the city of Memphis treat its wastewater under a 40-year-old agreement that ends with the end of September.  

Five years ago, Memphis announced it would not renew the contract, and a judge set the end date as Sept. 22.  

Expansion of the Johnson Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in DeSoto County, according to Judge Norris, would be required to the level of building a new plant, at a possible cost of $235 million.  

In reacting to the judge’s ruling, Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said it is now more imperative to get federal and state assistance to get the plan built, telling DeSoto County News, “We were hoping for more time, but will respect the judge’s decision and expedite our efforts to solve this challenge.  This is a projected $230 million dollar project and it is critical for our citizens that we get some funding assistance from our federal and state governments to minimize the final user costs.”

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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