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Poplarville board eyes roadwork

Although the city has yet to receive a timetable of when they might begin or approximately how long street repairs might take, aldermen at least know there are 24 sites to be repaired.

At the previous aldermen’s meeting Oct. 3, it was learned that there were possibly 14-20 sites and that repairs should begin in a few weeks, but the city had not received a definitive list of the locations.

What also is clear is that Mayor Billy Spiers is frustrated with the length of time it is taking to get the repair process started, much less completed. He said the city had hoped when the legal settlement was reached approximately seven months ago, the start of actual repairs would not take this long.

The repairs are to fix sinkage spots on Poplarville streets that have plagued motorists for more than four years since completion of a large sewer line project in the 1990s. Spiers estimates the city has spent over $23,000 in patching and repairs while the matter has been in litigation with the original contractor, Magnolia Construction Company, and the engineering firm, Alfred Engineering.

Under the terms of the final settlement reached with Magnolia Construction, it is responsible for funding the repairs, estimated to cost $90,000 to $100,000, Spiers said. Warren Construction Company in Hattiesburg has been contracted by Magnolia to do the actual work, he said.

As of last Tuesday’s city board meeting, Spiers said the city had yet to get a firm start date for the repairs from W.A. Warren of Warren Construction. He said as far as he knows everything else is ready to go.

The city does have recourse if the matter continues to drag out, Spiers says he has been told. But, he says that would involve the possibility of more litigation, again with the original contractor because it is responsible for seeing that the work is done.

Spiers says he has been advised by the attorney in the matter to write a letter to Magnolia Construction about the situation.

In another water and sewer matter, aldermen received a review report on possible costs to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant adjacent to Hwy. 26 near the city lake. The city is already reviewing options and funding for a new, much-needed water well.

Spiers showed aldermen the upgrade proposal that had a projected cost of $465,975. Some of the line items in the proposal were mechanical filter screens, $172,798; a grit removal system, $140,570; and a generator, $67,628.

No action was taken on the proposal.

In other matters, the board:

—approved travel and training costs for members of the police department.

—discussed problems with a fire hydrant and water line at the hospital.

—approved advertising for a maintenance contract for the Forest Lawn cemetery.

The Board of Aldermen’s next scheduled meeting is 5 p.m. Nov. 7 at city hall.