Aldermen hold project workshop

Published 12:03 pm Saturday, July 16, 2022

Thursday evening, Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen held a special workshop meeting with city engineer Jason Lamb to discuss potential infrastructure improvements within the city.

The agenda consisted of nine items that aimed to address a sewer trench failure at North Main Street, a failed culvert at North Jackson Street and a broken sidewalk on West North Street. Citywide asphalt paving and maintenance was also discussed along with a review of the American Rescue Plan Act.  The Board also discussed automated meter readers and three necessary water system improvements at Highway 26 West, Old Wiggins Highway and Buck Kirkland at Highway 53.

Lamb said the three street projects alone cost under $75,000 and he agreed with the Board’s plan to accomplishing the projects individually.

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The North Main Street project is already underway. The scope of work aims to excavate the damaged potions of roadway at the width of 7 feet and a depth of one foot above the existing sewer pipe. A final layer of limestone will be placed on the surface until asphalt can be installed by a separate contractor. Sites on Roy Street and South McGehee Street involved similar repair recommendations. A request for quotes was sent to JJ Lee Enterprises and Scott Holliday and the Board plans to hear a response before Tuesday’s regular Board meeting. Lamb suggests the Board use general obligation bond funds worth $64,863 to cover this project. The Board will receive another bond in the coming weeks.

Projects at North Jackson and West North Street discussed by the Board can be paid for with Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act funds. The scope of work consists of removing a failed drainage culvert and replacing it with a new culvert along a drainage easement with slope protection. This project is estimated to cost $20,000 to $25,000.

A resolution for the work along West North Street included several options and prices. A popular choice amongst the Board was if there’s no agreement on abandoning the sidewalk by removing it, then it must be repaired. City Attorney Gregory Holcomb verified the city has a narrow drainage easement that exists across private property owned by Barbra Ladner.

The Board will evaluate the scope of work and decide whether to restore the sidewalk access or include the existing drainage channel crossing the private property.

The Board will provide Lamb with a complete list of at least four road repairs that don’t exceed available funding. The Board will set aside MIMA funds annually to address those maintenance needs.  Lamb recommended advertising for bids in the fall, allowing work to proceed in the spring before paving contractors become overwhelmed with upcoming highway and interstate projects. Lamb said asphalt is being rationed right now due to a major upcoming street project that will conduct repairs to Interstate 59 from Lumberton down to Poplarville.

The Board then discussed the three water improvement projects. Repairs along Buck Kirkland Road at Highway 53 is expected to cost $150,000. The scope of work consists of installing 3,500 feet of 6” diameter water mains with a fire hydrant along Buck Kirkland Road. Work planned for Old Wiggins Highway is estimated to cost $250,000. Improvements as part of the work will cover approximately one mile. Highway 26 has domestic water service but no fire protection.

The purchase and installation of automated water meters is estimated to cost $500,000 and each meter is said to have 10-15 years of battery life. The project will be funded with  America Rescue Plan Act funds.

The Board will have its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 19 at 5 p.m. where the members will address a final course of action on street and water projects.