Clean audit presented to PRCUA, bid accepted for contract services

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 20, 2015

Pearl River County’s Utility Authority received a clean audit during their meeting Thursday.
Paige Johnson with Nicholson and Company presented the board with the findings from the most recent audit.
She said the agency received an unqualified audit, which means there were no negative findings.
“This is what you want to strive for every year,” Johnson said.
The audit showed that the local agency has $67 million in assets, with $2 million in liabilities.
There are also $64 million in capital assets, which actually equates to $74 million when depreciation is factored in, Johnson said.
Additionally the agency has $1.8 million in long-term debt.
The wastewater rehabilitation project in Picayune hit a snag last month. Utility Authority Engineer Brooks Wallace said the contractor did not get as much work done in the project as expected. He said contributing factors included rain and equipment failure. Due to those factors, only 3,000 feet of line was videoed last month. However, the contractor did provide the board with the first set of videos. Wallace also gave a demonstration of how the data is being organized to make finding videos for a specific line as easy as a click on a touch screen. All videos have been linked to an interactive map that all staff and board members can access. If a specific line is selected the user is directed to the videos for that line automatically.
Wallace said finding a video for a specific line before this system was established could take hours. With this new system they are available in seconds.
He expects to have a second set of videos by the next meeting.
All of the lines videoed in the initial phase of the project will be videoed again after they are fixed or lined with a special polymer.
Once the project is complete Wallace estimates the Utility Authority will have a video record of between 70 to 80 percent of all wastewater lines in the city of Picayune.
Recently the board advertised for bids for a unit pricing contract, which would meet all bid law requirements and allow emergency repairs to be conducted without holding an emergency board meeting.
Several bids were received, which were cut down to two; one from HRL Contracting and the other from Holliday Construction. A committee consisting of Utility Authority board members, staff and engineers chose HRL out of the two based on several factors. One of those factors was that the pricing between the two companies had vast differences in price. Wallace said the pricing from Holliday Construction was two to three times more than what HRL bid.
The board approved a motion to award the contract to HRL and authorized Board Attorney Heather Ladner to put finishing touches on the contract. She estimates the contract will go into effect on April 1.
The next meeting of the Utility Authority will be April 17 at 2 p.m. at the Neal Road treatment facility in Picayune.

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