Sumrall residents will soon go to the polls to determine whether to up the fee paid by Mississippi Power Company as part of the company’s non-exclusive elective electric franchise with the city.
If approved by voters, the franchise fee paid to the city by Mississippi Power would go from 2 percent to 3 percent, benefiting the city’s tax base.
“Every 25 years, Mississippi Power’s franchise comes up for an election,” Mayor Heath Sumrall said. “The Public Service Commission mandates that they pay a certain percentage to the city that they are franchised in.”
If the measure is approved by voters, that fee from Mississippi Power to the city will raise to 3 percent; if not, it will stay at the current 2 percent. An exact date for the election has not been set.
“It was supposed to have been earlier this year, but with all the shutdowns due to the coronavirus, Mississippi Power delayed it,” Sumrall said. “So I’m not real sure, but it’s going to be soon – it’ll be in the August or September time frame."
Sumrall said he was in the military at the last election, but he has been told that only a small number of people showed up to that outing.
“And of course, you have to think that was 25 years ago, so it wasn’t quite as well-advertised then as it is now,” he said. “They may get better participation now.”
Sumrall said he is totally in favor of the franchise fee being raised to 3 percent.
“We spent a lot of money on street lighting and other lighting from Mississippi Power, so the most we can get back to the town to the power bill, it’s pretty much an exchange,” he said. “They give us money and we give it back to them. I’m a hundred percent in favor of the 3 percent.”