Poplarville officials set meeting

Published 6:28 pm Thursday, August 3, 2006

This week, city officials are scheduled to meet with a representative of the Gulf Regional Utility Authority to discuss the city’s involvement with the authority and the projected benefits of such an involvement.

Alderman Shirley Wiltshire represented the city on July 18 in a meeting for public officials and water utility boards in Bay St. Louis.

Her primary concern, and the concern of the rest of the aldermen, is the need of a third water well and treatment facility in Poplarville. The Mississippi Department of Health placed a moratorium on new building within the city earlier this year because Poplarville’s current water system is operating at capacity.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

”We’ve been told we are at the top of the list, as far as urgency goes, for being considered for funding through the authority,” said Wiltshire.

No decision to help the city with its water woes will come until the regional authority has a master plan in place. Wiltshire said she understands the plan should be finalized by October.

Public hearings would be the next step in the process to allow citizens to ask questions and air concerns regarding the plan, said Wiltshire. That should be in October and November. Following that, and if all goes well, Wiltshire said the city may be able to begin the application process for assistance as early as January or February.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the aldermen, Mayor Billy Spiers asked aldermen to declare an emergency to amend the budget to proceed with repairing the effluent outflow canal at the wastewater treatment plant.

The estimated cost of the project is $19,630. However, FEMA has earmarked $5,050 in hazard mitigation funds because of Katrina-related damage to the outflow canal. Although the outgoing water from the treatment plant is clear water, the city does not want the eroding sides of the canal to break because of its close proximity to the city lagoon.

In other matters, the board voted to advertise for bids to clean up 13,680 feet of ditches in the city that were damaged or impaired as a result of Hurricane Katrina or by heavy equipment used during the cleanup following the disaster.

The project is being funded by FEMA at numerous sites throughout Poplarville. The mayor said the city has opted to hire a contractor to do the cleanup rather than doing it in-house.

“We don’t have the manpower or the equipment to do the job,” he said.