Poplarville mayor worried about well

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mayor Billy Spiers told the Poplarville Board of Aldermen Tuesday that after meeting with Gulf Coast Regional Utility Authority representatives at City Hall this week he is still uncomfortable about the city’s water situation.

Even with the help Poplarville may get from the utility authority for a new well, treatment plant and water tank, Spiers believes it will not come soon enough.

“We’re still talking about nine months to a year before we could get a well,” said Spiers. “We need to pursue another well right now. We don’t need to wait another month.”

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In March of this year, the health department inspected the city’s water service and declared it was operating at peak capacity for the number of users. The department immediately placed a moratorium on new construction within the city limits, saying it would not be lifted until a third well and treatment plant was built and fully operational.

Spiers said such an endeavor would cost as much as $2 million, money the city does not have.

The board had previously engaged the services of The Walker Associates engineering firm of Hattiesburg to conduct preliminary studies for the well project. Don Walker told Spiers he would like to pursue a grant for $500,000 to pay for the well itself.

The board discussed moving forward with digging the test hole in the Industrial Park property on Mississippi 53 to check for water availability and quality. The city and the county jointly own the land. The city holds three-quarters interest on one parcel and the county has three-quarters interest in a second parcel.

The Pearl River County board of supervisors and the Poplarville city board have negotiated a trade on that property to give each entity full control over portions of the land. The trade has not officially been finalized. Spiers asked City Attorney Martin Smith to check on the status of the exchange so the city could move forward with digging the test hole, a project estimated to cost approximately $60,000.

“We’re ready to get a well going,” said Spiers. “We just need the property to put it on.”

In other activities, the board adopted the 2003 International Building Code.

City Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Marcia Johnson recommended the city adopt the code. The board discussed the county’s adoption of the code and the subsequent fees for various permits for new construction. The board members did not, however, make any changes to the city’s current fee scale.

Repair work on West Michigan and Woodard streets is complete, and both streets have been paved, the board learned.

Sam Hale, the city superintendent over water and streets, also noted the new generator is online at the Cumberland Street well, making both of the city’s wells equipped with emergency power.

The mayor also told the board the Mississippi Department of Transportation informed him that a traffic light at the intersection of Miss. 53 and Miss. 26 should be installed in April or May of next year. The city had made the request for the light to more safely accommodate the heavy volume of traffic at that intersection.

In other matters, the board approved sending several police officers to various training classes. Chris Netto, Clayton Hester and Al Tynes will attend an Interview and Interrogation Techniques seminar in Mobile. Rossie Creel and John Kramer will attend the Regional Organized Crime Information Center Homicide Conference in Little Rock, Ark., and Jimmy Steinkamp will attend a Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness Level training course in Purvis.

The board also adopted a Mission Mississippi resolution declaring October as Reconciliation Month. The act supports Mission Mississippi’s efforts in promoting reconciliation across racial and denominational lines.