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Repairs holding up larger street project

A long-awaited street repair project may finally begin in the next few weeks, city officials say.

After more than four years of litigation and discussions back and forth, repairs to fix sinkage spots on some Poplarville streets may be only a few weeks away, said City Clerk Jody Stuart.

Mayor Billy Spiers told aldermen at Tuesday’s board meeting he had talked with W.A. Warren of Warren Construction Company of Hattiesburg and that the work was to begin soon.

Spiers said Warren was unable to be more definite on when work would start. The city has not yet received a complete list of the streets that would be affected, but Spiers said 14 to 20 sites are slated for repair.

Spiers did say the cost of the repairs was expected to be approximately $90,000 to $100,00 — funded through the final settlement with Magnolia Construction and Alford Engineering, the firms who did the original sewer project.

The city had filed the lawsuit after problems surfaced with a major sewer line upgrade project in the mid-1990s. Sites along some streets began sinking, a condition the city contended was due to improper compaction procedures during the sewer project. The city has spent more than $23,000 to patch streets because of sinkages around the sewer work.

Once the repairs are completed, the city plans to explore funding a bond issue for an upgrade of streets city-wide, Spiers said.

“We can’t go ahead with any type of bond issue until we get these repairs done,” Spiers said during a telephone interview last Thursday.

As soon as the city receives a repair schedule and a list of repair sites, the information will be made public to prevent as much inconvenience as possible, Spiers said.

In other matters, the board:

— Approved a land swap with Pearl River County in the Industrial Park for the site of a new firehouse for the city.

— Granted a 30-foot setback to Ace Hardware on a building site across from the Poplarville High School.

— Set the Halloween curfew at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

— Took under advisement a request from George Lowe on Crocodile Lane to stop charges for city water/sewer and garbage pickup because he is not connected to the water system and does not receive city garbage service.

— Went into executive session on personnel matters; accepted the resignation of a city employee; and authorized fire and police personnel to attend training.

The board meets again at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at city hall.