BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – Sixteen years ago the National Weather Service (NWS) built a radar on city property. And every four years, city leaders can decide whether to renew this agreement or go in another direction.
“We fast forward to now there has been a lot of growth in Brandon,” Brandon Mayor Butch Lee said. “We’re growing at an 8 percent rate. We’ve got restaurants coming into downtown [and] the county is about to build a new court house,” Mayor Lee continued on to say.
Because of the changes and growth in Brandon, Mayor Lee says the city needs more water.
So, city officials began looking at new locations for a water tower. They narrowed it down to two locations. Both of them are close to the NWS radar.
Both suggested locations block the beams produced by the radar, which can hinder weather prediction.
“It’s a tool that we use to monitor real time, and if you don’t have that, it doesn’t just impact somebody close to the radar it impacts people that are pretty far away from the radar,” said Chad Entremont with the National Weather Service.
“We’ve got to find some kind of resolution to best satisfy the National Weather Service and all of the residents in central Mississippi, but first and foremost is the water needs of our community and that’s what we’re gonna work on,” Mayor Lee said.
Both sides are working closely to try and find a middle ground.
Officials with the weather service say moving the radar isn’t an option because it’s too costly and will require losing radar connection for a long period of time.
The mayor says he wants to come to a decision within the next couple of months.