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Utility Authority moving on several projects

Work to connect homes in the Eagle Heights subdivision to a low pressure sewer system has been put on hold, but so far 20 customers are now connected.

Members of the Pearl River County Utility Authority’s Board of Directors heard an update about the work during Monday’s meeting. The system being installed was requested by a majority of the homeowners in that area, according to previous coverage. Pearl River County Utility Authority Executive Director Cliff Diamond said that 63 homes will be connected to the system when the project is complete. He said only one homeowner opted out.

The delay is due in part to a lack of electrical connections in that area for the system to work properly. Diamond said the work will resume once that issue is rectified.

Efforts to relocate utility lines along Highway 11 in anticipation of the widening of that highway by the Mississippi Department of Transportation are focusing on the last of the projects where digging was utilized. MDOT recently gave the city of Picayune and the Utility Authority clearance to bore the rest of the lines in an effort to get the project back on track. Diamond said the next step for the Utility Authority is to bore under Highway 43 between McDonald’s and Walgreens. That work will begin once another project near the Roseland Park Baptist Church is complete.

The Board also heard about issues found at the treatment lagoon in Poplarville. Diamond said engineers investigated what appeared to be a crack in the levy of the lagoon, which determined the crack was not substantial enough to cause the levy to fail.

Another issue at the Poplarville plant was also discussed concerning the need to haul sludge from the site. Diamond said the amount of sludge being hauled from the plant was insufficient, leading to an increase in the amount of sludge being hauled away at an additional expense.

He said the Board is considering the installation of a belt press like the one used at the Picayune treatment facility to create more cost effective “cakes,” which can be disposed of more cheaply.

Efforts to rehabilitate the sewer system in Picayune will soon move to Telly Road. Diamond said that once crews wrap up work on Charlotte Drive and Betsy Drive, they will move on to Telly Road.

In other business the Board:

— Approved a motion to enter into an agreement with Hancock Leasing/South Mississippi Business Machines for copiers at the Poplarville and Picayune treatment plants. Diamond said the agreement will save the Utility Authority $200 per month and provide new copiers at both locations.

The next meeting of the Board will be May 16 at 5 p.m. in the Boardroom of the Picayune treatment facility on Neal Road.