Positive audit for the Utility Authority

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 20, 2017

Pearl River County’s Utility Authority received a positive audit during their meeting on Thursday.
William Mills, a CPA with Topp McWhorter Harvey, PLLC, gave the results of the audit to the Utility Authority’s Board of Directors, stating that there were no material findings.
For the previous fiscal year, the Utility Authority had $4.7 million in current assets, and $66.3 million in capital assets.
Over that same period, the Utility Authority received $3.5 million in sewer fees, $84,837 in tap fees, $249,246 in miscellaneous revenue and $213,174 in water fees. Total operating expenses were $4.5 million, leading to an operating loss of $479,308. The cash balance is $3.7 million, of which $1.7 million is unrestricted.
In other business, Mark Gibson approached the Board about receiving an adjustment to his bill due to a water leak.
Executive Director Ray Scott asked Gibson to send a formal request to the Utility Authority office so it could be added to next month’s agenda.
Operations Director Allen Howe said that Gibson has indicated that he wants to turn over a sewer system component at a trailer park he owns when the component is brought up to Utility Authority standards.
During Gibson’s address to the Board he asked why he was suddenly being charged sales tax.
“Am I selling you my sewer?” Gibson asked.
When a member of the staff asked if he was tax exempt, he replied with, “I can get tax exempt.”
In a separate matter, the Board also discussed a $10,000 expense to clean out the old wastewater lagoon off Airport Road.
Wastewater Treatment Foreman Tony Hall said the lagoon has to be cleaned of water vegetation about every year or two.
The old lagoon is still in use. Hall said about 60 percent of the city’s wastewater, or 1 million gallons per day, is processed at the site. The rest is sent to the treatment facility on Neal Road.
Poplarville’s treatment facility receives about 600,000 gallons of sewer water.
Utility Authority Engineer Vernon Moore said the first round of work to rehabilitate Picayune’s wastewater system has concluded. Another round of work is expected to take place this year. Moore said he plans to advertise for bids in March, and open those bids in April.
Scott said he intends to update the City Council about the work at a meeting sometime in February.
“I think it’s important the city know we spent $6 million on their sewer system and are about to spend another six,” Scott said.
The next Board meeting will be Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.

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