Rate public hearing: Utility authority to hold hearing in early February

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A date for the proposed rate changes to Pearl River County Utility Authority customers will take place on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

The hearing, which will take place in the council chambers of Picayune’s City Hall, will allow customers to voice their concerns of proposed rate and usage changes the Utility Authority board is considering.

One of the changes being considered is to reduce the minimum usage from 4,000 gallons per month, to 3,000 gallons.

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Consideration is also being given to increase the price for the usage of 1,000 gallons of water from $2.50 to $3.

Executive Director Ray Scott said details about all of the changes would be listed in an upcoming public notice in the Picayune Item alerting customers of the public hearing.

In other business the board also discussed installation of a new drip field at the Wildwood Subdivision to help with sewage processing at the residential area’s wastewater lagoon, Scott said.

Rehabilitation of Picayune’s aging sewer lines is going well, but the first loan the board took out was not enough to cover the city’s entire system. Scott said the board discussed the possibility of taking out another Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality loan, this time for about $6 million.

The intention is to conduct the work on all 45 basins.

“Which I think is the smart thing to do,” Scott said.

Five or six basins are being rehabilitated in the current phase, but Scott said those are the largest basins.

Smoke testing to find leaks after the sewage system has been lined is finding areas where storm drains were hooked to the city’s sewage system. A list of the findings is being drawn up so repairs can be conducted. Scott said most of the findings will require only minor maintenance.

The board then recessed Thursday’s meeting until 2 p.m. Feb. 10, in Picayune’s City Hall.