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Board of Supervisors accept bid for wastewater treatment facility

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors met on Thursday to award a bid for the Millard Wastewater Treatment Project.

The board accepted the $947,266 bid from T.L. Wallace Construction, Inc. with the agreement that operation and ownership of the new wastewater treatment facility will be awarded to the Pearl River County Utility Authority upon completion.

Pearl River County Engineer Les Dungan said the facility has been treating wastewater at the county’s jail and surrounding buildings for 10 years. County administrators hired an outside company to remain in compliance with state regulations. Dungan said that delegating these responsibilities to the Utility Authority is in the best interest of everyone since the operation of wastewater treatment is a major part of what their organization was established to do.

The health department and the jail generate a significant amount of wastewater, pushing the current facility close to its maximum capacity, said Dungan. He added that the current system treats 40,000 gallons of wastewater a day, while the upgraded facility would treat 100,000 gallons a day.

“This plan changes our process, more than doubles our capacity and allows us to treat wastewater to a higher limit,” said Dungan.

The county is upgrading the facility in anticipation of tighter constraints on wastewater discharge. These new restrictions would require wastewater to be treated to a higher limit, which Dungan said the new facility would meet.

“Something must be done about the incoming restrictions,” Dungan said, “This plan is the most economically feasible for the county, and it puts responsibility of the wastewater in the hands of a department that was created to do that.”

The board approved the motion to grant the Utility Authority operation and ownership of the wastewater facility and after some discussion, accepted the bid from T.L. Wallace Construction, Inc.

Before giving his approval, District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith wanted assurance that the facility’s extra capacity would not be used to run lines into a rural community in the future.

Dungan said that was “not going to happen.”

The 75/25 Corps of Engineers grant will provide approximately $700,000 funding for the facility and offers a 210-day deadline for the project’s completion. Given the rigid Sept. 2015 deadline for the grant’s closure, the Board will attempt to begin construction as soon as possible.

Thursday’s meeting was called for the sole purpose of reviewing bids on this project, so the board adjourned after making the decision and will meet again on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 9 a.m.