Utility Authority reports favorable 2015-2016 budget

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Now that the previous fiscal year has closed, the Pearl River County Utility Authority reported ending the year with a favorable budget in several major categories.
Executive Director Ray Scott said that the budget year ended, he was able to update the Board of Trustees to the fact that three major categories ended favorably; revenue was $343,000 more than budgeted, costs were $60,000 less than budgeted and overhead expenses were $107,000 less than expected, in all leading to a favorable budget year totaling more than $500,000.
The Wildwood subdivision lagoon project is more than 90 percent complete, with just some punch list items left to tie up. Also, pump station repairs and upgrades at Country Club Drive are waiting minor punch list items to be completed.
Rehabilitation of the sewer system within several basins in Picayune is also going well. Scott said there are only minor things left to complete, and the Utility Authority expects some cash to be left over, which will be used to line additional manholes within the city.
In the New Arbor Lake subdivision, the Utility Authority is tying up lose ends to take over the wastewater lagoon. Scott said the Utility Authority will assume ownership of lagoon along with an easement to gain access to it, and therefore take over its maintenance. Efforts to iron out all of the legal matters have been ongoing for the past five months. Once the deal is finalized, the Utility Authority will take over the permitting and maintenance of the lagoon.
In an effort to prevent overflows in wastewater systems, Scott said the Utility Authority requested proposals to install an early warning system called Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. These systems are connected to pump and lift stations and alert Utility Authority staff when power is out or if a pump fails. The early warning system allows the staff to fix the problem before an overflow occurs, Scott said.
The Board is looking for the best price so these systems can be installed on as many pump stations and lift stations as possible.
The next meeting of the Board will be Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. in the Boardroom at the treatment facility on Neal Road in Picayune.

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