PRC Utility Authority is ahead of budget

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pearl River County Utility Authority Executive Director Jeff McClain reported at Thursday afternoon board of director’s meeting that revenues for the year are running over $20,000-30,000 above projections, causing the utility authority to be well within its budget for the year.

McClain said the combination of installing new water meter systems and the hot months are probably the cause for the increase in revenues. He said he expects the sewer budget to go up slightly because it has been a drier month in some areas of the county.

The board of directors listened to a public comment from Trey Sprinks of Sprinks Construction. Sprinks was a subcontractor on the new Fred’s on Mississippi Highway 53. Sprinks said he was unaware of an impact fee through the Pearl River County Utility Authority when he submitted his bid to the City of Poplarville.

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McClain said it is listed on the required paperwork to contact the Pearl River County Utility Authority before submitting it to the city. Sprinks said that he did not see it on his paperwork, but if it was on the paperwork, then he claims responsibility for the mistake and will pay the impact fee to the utility authority.

The board of directors approved the Sewer Billing and Collection Services Agreement and Automatic Meter Reading Cooperative Agreement with the City of Picayune. Jeff Holliman, attorney for the board of directors, said that Picayune borrowed about $1.3 million to adopt the Automatic Meter Reading system.

Holliman said the agreement states that the utility authority will contribute $1 a month per account billed for water and sewer. The utility authority is only allowed to pay up to $500,000 over 10 years toward the agreement.

The agreement allows for the utility authority to have a more accurate history on the services in the city, McClain said.

Holliman updated the board on a resolution to acquire a utility right of way easement for water and sewer lines on property owned by Allen and Roxanne Walker. He said a survey and appraisal needs to be conducted before an offer can be made to the Walkers. McClain said the utility authority is trying to acquire an additional 10 feet of property from the Walkers.

Also at the meeting, the board of directors approved:

— Cash reports, off docket and docket items.

— Establishing a personnel policy that authorizes and governs employees donating paid time off to other employees. McClain said the new policy follows the statute for Mississippi State employees.

— Employee handbook.

— For McClain to purchase equipment and materials from a business closing down at Industrial Park in Poplarville. McClain said the owner of the business approached him about purchasing materials and equipment that the utility authority crews frequently use. He said he is confident that the items the authority wants to buy can all be purchased for less than $4,800.

— Renewing a property insurance policy with a increase to the current deductible. McClain recommended raising the deductible from $2,500 to $5,000 to keep the insurance premium from increasing.

— Changing office hours to 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Fridays. McClain said this will make the utility authority more accessible to the public since agency has grown over the last several years.

— Technical committee meeting at 1 p.m., the policy committee meeting t at 2:30 p.m. and the financial committee meeting at 3:30 p.m., all on Aug. 8 at the Utility Authority office.

— To send Lance Stewart to the Water and Pollution Control Operator’s Short Course in Biloxi on Sept. 10 and 11. The cost of travel is $300.

— To send Charlie Rouse and Randy Watts to the Mississippi Rural Water Association hands on Operator Training on July 25 in Raymond.

The board adjourned until Thursday August 15 at 2 p.m. in Picayune.