Thursday, April 29, 2010
City focuses on streets
By SUE WATSON
Utilities general manager Don Hollingsworth and consulting city engineer Larry Britt are busy finishing up several road projects in town and getting ready to go to work on others, as well as programming new projects.
Reporting to the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen on Tuesday last week, Hollingsworth received approval from the board to install special order riprap in areas where sand is coming out of banks and filling culverts on West Boundary Extended. The small stone will not be a trap for mowers and equipment used to keep weeds and grass down on banks and rights-of-way, he said. The erosion problem was cause for a supplemental agreement with the contractor to put down filter material then stone at an estimated cost of $68,726. The money is available from contingency funds in the project paid for with State Aid Division road funds.
A second street project to mill and overlay West Boundary from West Valley to Chulahoma Avenue was approved by the board of aldermen for programming. The project is estimated to cost several hundred thousand dollars.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry and Hollingsworth discussed needs to upgrade the lagoon while the city programs a wastewater treatment facility. Hollingsworth said the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has permitted the continued use of the lagoon which carries the city to 2014. Municipalities will be required to treat wastewater with chlorine, then remove the chlorine and ammonia before emptying treated water into streams. The removal of these ions is required to reduce the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, he said.
Old-fashioned aerators that are used to put dissolved oxygen into wastewater to enable microorganisms to degrade nutrient wastes are wearing out, he said. The gear boxes in the 25-year-old units are wearing out and will not be replacable, he said.
Also, a rubberized floating blanket that separates the lagoon into two cells is falling apart.
“This gets us by three or four years,” said Hollingsworth, adding that if the city had the money to build the modern wastewater treatment facility it would take that much time to build it.
DeBerry said the city is looking to Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Thad Cochran and Rep. Travis Childers to help get funding for the new facility which will enable the city to not only handle its own sewage but that from rural areas as well.
In other matters, the board of aldermen:
• authorized the recreation department to accept a senior citizen to work 20 hours a week and be paid by Experience Works Senior Workforce Solutions.
• approved an audit of water, sewer, gas and electric departments by Watkins/Ward/Stafford. The studies are required by TVA.
• adopted a required fuel cost adjustment increase from Tennessee Valley Authority for the month of May. This follows an increase in April. The increase provides no revenue for the Holly Springs Utility Department but is required by TVA. A residential customer whose monthly electricity bill is $105 will pay 60 cents more with the increase.
• ordered a public hearing for clean-up of four dilapidated properties.
• discussed a proposal from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that the city accept the Mississippi Industrial College Apartment Complex properties for $1, then turn the project over to a developer/invester to repair the dilapidated units. DeBerry said the repair would cost over $4 million but the developer would recoup investments over time through rent and tax credits.
The complex has about 100 units with only 50 occupied. The board authorized a resolution to send a letter of dissatisfaction to the management company as a first step in possible takeover of the properties.
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