Utility Authority presented with clean audit

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 19, 2016

The Utility Authority received a clean audit during their meeting Thursday afternoon.
CPA Susan Riley said the Utility Authority finished the year with about $69 million in total assets, which was a $1.6 million increase from the previous year.
Liabilities increased by $2.3 million to $4.5 million and the agency has about $3 million in long-term debt.
Riley gave the board an unqualified opinion on the audit, which meant there were no significant findings.
Rehabilitation of the city of Picayune’s wastewater system is still underway. Engineer Vernon Moore said about 2,300 feet of pipe was lined in one basin, and 6,200 feet was finished in a second basin.
Smoke testing of basin 15 found 268 defects, or places where smoke escaped from the system for various reasons. Moore expects to have a cost estimate to have those defects repaired by the next meeting.
As the work ensues, an analysis will be conducted to determine whether discovered defects are on public or private land, allowing the board to decide what the next move will be.
One of the major defects found during the smoke testing involves storm water drains infiltrating the sewer system, which brings rainwater to the sewer system to be treated.
As part of the Highway 11 widening project wastewater and water mains are being located that could be impacted by the project. A cost estimate for the three to four gravity mains that are expected to be impacted will be presented to the board at the next meeting.
Quotes for lawn care services to the Utility Authority were taken into consideration. Darby’s Lawn Care Excellence was the low bidder, turning in a bid of $1,815 per cut for all locations outlined in the scope of work, which includes treatment facilities in Picayune, Poplarville and Hillsdale along with water wells owned by the Utility Authority. Other bids ranged from $2,935 to $8,561 per cut. Board president Sonny Sones asked to table the matter to have time to review the bids and scope of work. A motion to table the matter was approved.
The board also took the proposed rate increase under advisement. A decision had not been reached by press time Thursday. See Saturday’s edition of the Item for an update on that matter.
The next meeting of the Pearl River County Utility Authority will be March 17 at 2 p.m. at the treatment facility in Picayune.

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