City accepts bid for sewer work

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The lowest bid to conduct some sewer work along Beech Street was approved at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

City Manager Harvey Miller said he had concerns about how low the bid was compared to other bids, so he called Roland Mura with Hartman Engineering and James Jordan, with Plaas Inc. to provide the council with additional information.

The initial bids were opened at the council’s last meeting. Those bids ranged from a high of $556,310.36, as submitted by Hensly Lee Construction, to Plaas Incorporated’s low bid of $224,850. The next lowest bid, $276,240, was submitted by Flemming Construction Company.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mura said Plaas has experience in conducting sewer work and then called Jordan, who is the Southern Operations Director for Plaas, to give the council a rundown on the company’s experience. Jordan said the company is currently conducting about four sewer or water projects, with one in Louisiana and another with the Harrison County Utility Authority. The company is also constructing a water treatment facility in Hurley. He said the company went back over the bid after all bids were opened by the city and felt sure they did not foresee a problem with conducting the job at that price. He also said the company would not have a problem with providing a performance bond if the council felt it necessary.

“If you say no and you want to spend another $50,000, have at it,” Jordan said.

The council took a vote and unanimously approved entering into the contract to Plaas.

“Looks like we don’t want to spend the extra $50,000,” Mayor Ed Pinero Jr. said.

Construction for the rail spur to one of Picayune Industrial park’s newest businesses, AGT, might see bids being opened by early December. Brooks Wallace with Dungan Engineering said the company, which has been in Picayune since 2006, makes bladders for the military and recently finished their new road project. That road project and the upcoming rail spur are both funded by a Community Development Block Grant to the tune of about $2 million. Now that the agreement between Norfolk Southern, the city and AGT has been established and the cost summary has arrived, the city can proceed with collecting bids. No action was taken on the matter.

The city approved a motion to close eight of their checking accounts. City Finance Administrator Amber Hinton said the money from the accounts will have to be handled differently according to the nature of the account. Two of the larger accounts, one of which will go towards reimbursing the city’s utility fund, are restricted and can only go towards their intended use. Another account was opened in error and will be combined with another account. Remaining funds will be moved to the general fund. The council approved closing those eight accounts.

Two requests for land related concerns, one to get a 20 percent lot reduction and another to have a final plan for subdivision approved, were both tabled at the meeting. Council members and Pinero said the motion to table was approved in order to give the city administrators time to ensure they make educated decisions on those and future land and property related matters. Later in the meeting both city residents who turned in those requests, Rovertus Reed for the 20 percent lot reduction and Artie Fletcher with the lot subdivision, pleaded to the council to reconsider tabling the items. Reed said he has been given the run around on this matter for about six months. Fletcher said the lot he wants to subdivide has the proper zoning and all other regulations in order.

Gouguet informed the citizens that the items were not denied but they were postponed so the council members could research the city’s ordinances in order to make informed decisions.

The council later went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter, possible litigation with the Centraplex and a contractual matter. Decisions on those matters were not available by press time Tuesday night.

In other business the council;

— Accepted a donation of two new Automatic External Defibrillators from Highland Community Hospital. The AEDs will be stationed at the north and south fire stations.

— Approved the purchase of two 2010 Dodge Chargers using Special Police Drug Funds for use in the Picayune Police Department.

— Approved travel of Detective Constance Myers to Bouttee La., from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, for a conference on Child Death Investigation.

The next meeting of the council will be at 5 p.m. Nov. 3.