Pearl River County Utility Authority announces construction of new office building

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 1, 2019

The Pearl River County Utility Authority announced plans for a new customer service and administration building this week.

The Utility Authority plans to construct a 3,500 square foot building on Goodyear Boulevard next to the Chimney Square building, according to a press release.

Currently, the Utility Authority leases an office suite on Street A in the Picayune Industrial park for $2,117 a month—or approximately $25,000 a year, said Executive Director Cliff Diamond.

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Estimates for the cost to construct the new building are $475,000 to $575,000. Development costs will be offset by the existing office space lease payments and the Utility Authority will fund the project without taking on new debt, according to the press release.

Unlike the current office space, the new building will be ADA compliant and will offer a drive through window for customer payments, Diamond said, which will increase customer convenience. The location of the current office space is inconvenient for customers and the nearby railroad crossing often blocks traffic, Diamond said.

The new building will also provide a meeting space for the Board of Directors, which currently meets in the training room at the Neal Road wastewater facility, the release states.

The Utility Authority began renting the current office space over 10 years ago, Diamond said, and the space was not designed for the work the staff performs. It was simply the first office space available in the post-Katrina environment, he said.

Architect Brad Jones of MP Design Group of Biloxi has been engaged to design the building and PRCUA expects to begin advertising for bids and construction to begin in early 2020, the release states. Project completion is projected for the late summer of 2020, according to the release.

The project will use predominantly stock building materials to keep construction costs to a minimum, the release states. The lot was acquired Oct. 2, Diamond said.

The local utility authority provides services to approximately 20,000 county residents, according to the release.