By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Board members of the Pearl River County Utility Authority discussed adding new connections to the Hillsdale well, how to handle lawn care and how the lagoon at the Wildwood Subdivision held up during recent heavy rain storms.
The board considered adding five connections that were requested by residents in Hillsdale.
Board member Marcia Johnson suggested working towards approving those connections.
“We’ve got that big well and we’ve promised these folks water,” Johnson said.
After some minor discussion, the board unanimously agreed to make the connections. Executive Director Jeff McClain said it will cost the Utility Authority about $16,000 to make all five connections, which will include fire hydrants, water meters and 500 feet of six-inch pipe for each connection.
Lawn care at well and pump stations also was discussed during the meeting. The board considered whether to keep the company it has used in the past, On Time Professional Lawn Care, or to seek bids. Last year the Utility Authority paid the company about $50,000 for the service.
Board president Tommy Breland asked if the board should bid out the service. Board Attorney Jeff Holliman said he called the State Auditor’s Office on the situation, and was informed that service did not fall under the public purchase law. While the board is not required to bid out the service, Holliman said it can if the board chooses to do so.
Johnson asked if it would be cheaper to use a current employee or to hire one to do to the job. McClain said it would require hiring a full time employee and purchasing equipment, but the board has the ability to reduce the amount of acreage the service would cut, thereby reducing the amount of money paid to On Time Professional Lawn Care.
By the end of the discussion, the board opted to keep On Time Professional Lawn Care.
In another matter Johnson expressed concern about the sewer lagoon at the Wildwood Subdivision off Moeller Road after it was mentioned that the lagoon filled substantially during the heavy rains over the past couple of months. McClain said while the level of the lagoon did rise, it did not overflow, even though more than 20 inches of rain fell during the storms.
In other business, the board approved a motion to install five more air release valves at the pump stations along Highland Commons Parkway due to complaints about smells.
The next board meeting will be at 2 p.m. April 18, at Picayune’s city hall.