City to borrow $350K for sewer/water work

By HASKEL BURNS,

Petal city officials will soon seek a loan for $350,000 for two sewer and water repair projects in the Friendly City.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Petal Board of Aldermen, board members voted unanimously to apply for the loan from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to fund sewer repairs at East Central Avenue and Hillcrest Loop, as well as upgrades to a lift station on Walnut Drive.

“We’re going to apply for one loan for both of those projects, and hopefully then we’ll pay for both of those projects out of that loan,” Mayor Hal Marx said. “Then we’ll pay it back over five years, instead of taking it all out this year and not having any money left for repair if something did come up over the rest of the year.

“We don’t want to deplete all of our funds this year.”

The work at East Central Avenue and Hillcrest Loop, which will cost about $270,000, will consist of repairing a manhole that has been eroded by hydrogen sulfide. Workers will install a larger manhole and reroute underground lines.

“That (location) has deteriorated … to the point where it is no longer subject to be rehabilitated,” said John Weeks, civil engineer with Hattiesburg engineering firm Shows, Dearman & Waits. “If you’ll notice, there’s some settlement there, and it’s likely that dirt has entered into the sewer system and being transmitted downstream, and that’s why it’s roped off right now with traffic cones.”

Residents may experience some temporary disruptions of water service while workers relay PVC lines across Hillcrest Loop.

“So (the water service interruption) will be short and intermittent,” Weeks said. “There won’t be a whole lot – it’s just going to be a loss of pressure. But actual downtime of water will be a few hours.”

Upgrades to the Walnut Drive lift station, which would ideally increase the station’s flow from 120 gallons per minute to 250 gallons per minute, are expected to cost between $80,000 and $90,000.

“What’s been presented to us is that lift station is too small,” Weeks said. “Long term, what we need is a bigger wet well there at Walnut Drive.

“It might be that we can get some larger pumps there to get us by in the short term … until we can get a more permanent solution.”

Preliminary work is expected to begin this week at the East Central Avenue and Hillcrest Loop project, while upgrades to the Walnut Drive lift station may be a little further out.

“We’ve got to get some plans together on that,” Marx said. “We just started talking about that, so we don’t have a time frame yet.”