Council enters into agreements to prepare for widening of U.S. 11

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Several projects were approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council, and will entail replacing natural gas lines, fixing the roof at the Picayune Police Department and relocating city utility lines in preparation for the widening of Highway 11.
City engineer Brooks Wallace said the natural gas line replacement project will be funded with remaining funds from the previous project that removed the aging cast iron pipes in the area formerly occupied by Geo Resources. This next project will remove more of those lines in the same area. So far the work to replace those lines has reduced the city’s amount of natural gas loss from between 39 to 42 percent to about 3 percent, Public Works Director Eric Morris said.
Wallace estimates the project to cost about $100,000 and take 90 days to complete once a bid is accepted.
A separate project to relocate water and natural gas lines in the city in preparation of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s effort to widen Highway 11 was also approved by the Council. In relation to the work to relocate water lines, Wallace said the state agency will pay for 62 percent of the estimated $600,000 project, leaving the city to cover $372,000 of that expense.
The cost to relocate the natural gas lines along that same stretch will be less costly, but the city will pay the majority of the expense, 91 percent, Wallace said. He estimates that project will cost $75,000. The state will cover the remaining 9 percent.
The Council approved separate motions to authorize entering into engineering and utility agreements to relocate those lines.
Roof work is also planned at the Police Department. Chief Bryan Dawsey said the roof leaks in several areas of the building, including over several of the staffs’ desks.
During discussion of the matter, Councilor Larry Breland repeatedly asked if there was a way to find grant funding to replace the building, even after City Manager Jim Luke said the staff has exhausted every effort to seek that funding, and continues to do so.
The project is estimated to cost $295,000, and will include replacing any HVAC units in disrepair. The work is expected to last for the next 20 years. To patch the roof was estimated to cost $12,000, but that work would have only lasted about two years. The building was constructed in 1978.
The next Council meeting will be Aug. 1, at 5 p.m. in the Council chambers of City Hall.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox