Hurricane Katrina brought PRCUA

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 4, 2015

After Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, the state of Mississippi created a master plan that would allot $630 million in disaster recovery funds toward providing dependable sewer, water and storm water infrastructure to communities across the state. Ray Scott, executive director for the Pearl River County Utility Authority, said those federal funds contributed to the development of the Pearl River County Utility Authority.

PRCUA was established in 2006 under the Mississippi Gulf Coast Region Utility Act. The Utility Authority performs numerous tasks, including the “planning, acquisition, construction, maintenance, operation and coordination of water, wastewater and storm water systems in order to ensure the delivery of those services to the citizens residing within Pearl River County,” according to the PRC Utility Authority website.

Scott said the utility authority currently owns and operates several sewer collection and wastewater treatment plants in Poplarville and Picayune, including small processing plants in the Wildwood and North Hill subdivisions. They also provide wholesale water to the cities of Poplarville and North Lumberton.

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Several months ago, the PRCUA expanded its authority by signing a contract with the county to operate and eventually assume ownership of the wastewater treatment plant near the county jail. The plant is a smaller version of the ultraviolet light plants installed in the county’s two municipalities, according to previous Item coverage.

The utility authority’s board of directors, made up of seven volunteer appointees, makes the day-to-day decisions on behalf of the authority.

Scott credits the board’s success to their strong working relationship with the county’s two municipalities.

“We have a good cooperation with the cities because we have to work with them on an ongoing basis and we found that we’re able to work well with them and we thank them for that,” Scott said.

The utility authority is located at 100 Street A, Suite F inside Picayune’s Industrial Park. The hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, contact the office at 601-799-5259.