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PRCUA approves waiver for incoming business

RECOGNITION: Pearl River County Utility Authority Board Member Ike Lewis presents Steve Lawler with a plaque recognizing his many years of service on the board at Thursday’s meeting. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

RECOGNITION: Pearl River County Utility Authority Board Member Ike Lewis presents Steve Lawler with a plaque recognizing his many years of service on the board at Thursday’s meeting.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Pearl River County’s Utility Authority Board of Trustees approved motions to have pump station roofs repaired, waived a tap fee for an incoming business and addressed some sinkholes at their meeting held Thursday.

Three more pump stations will receive a new roof. Interim Executive Director Ray Scott said the board approved a motion to contract with Reflectec to have the roofs repaired. The estimated price to have all three repaired is $27,000, Scott said.

According to the agenda the board was to consider a matter dealing with a Walmart Neighborhood store. Scott said the matter dealt with the Utility Authority agreeing to waive a tap fee in exchange for the retailer paying to move a force main and conduct upgrades to a nearby lift station. The board approved the matter. The Picayune Item has reached out to Walmart for more information on the proposed development and will provide updates if they respond to our request.

To address the sewage backup issue at a home located on Brown Drive off of East Canal Street, the Utility Authority installed a cleanout at the road and is preparing to bore another connection under the Canal Street to provide access to another sewer main, which should fix the problem. In previous coverage, the homeowner, Billy Brown, addressed the board that sewage had been backing up into the home. Initial work conducted so far seems to have fixed the problem, Brown said at February’s meeting.

In a separate matter, the board approved conducting some emergency work to a sinkhole on Alpine Drive to be conducted by Hensley R. Lee Contracting at a cost of $5,812. Scott said the issue is an emergency due to the traffic, especially school bus traffic, on that road. 

“It was something we had to do, if we didn’t the road could have caved in,” Scott said.

A wastewater treatment plant is being built in Millard by the county near their public buildings, including the Sheriff’s Department and county jail and Department of Human Service’s building. The Utility Authority is in discussions with the county to adopt the facility once construction is complete.

Scott said the board is having a contract drawn up before accepting the facility into their fold.

Leachate, or the water collected from landfills, can be treated at the Picayune facility, but there appears to be a problem. Scott said the liquid coming into the facility has varied in strength, requiring different levels of treatment. A committee has been formed to determine if treatment of leachate is worth the time and effort or if a new pricing model needs to be established. Scott estimated a decision may be ready by the next meeting in April. 

Last week’s meeting was the last one that Board President Steve Lawler will attend. Lawler has been a member of the board on and off since its inception shortly after Hurricane Katrina. During the meeting fellow board members presented him with a plaque recognizing his time on the board. 

Scott said Lawler’s resignation leaves two empty seats on the board. Short-term member Bill Winborn stepped down after February’s meeting for personal reasons, Scott said. Winborn joined the board in July of last year.

The resignations leave the appointed positions for the city of Picayune and city of Poplarville vacant, however there are still enough members to hold a quorum provided the remaining members attend subsequent meetings, Scott said.

The next meeting of the board will be April 17 at 2 p.m. Meetings are held at the Neal Road treatment facility in Picayune.