More free hookups planned for sewers in Kings community

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 11, 2000

About 75 more families in Kings will have their homes hooked up to city sewer lines free of charge in a deal approved by Vicksburg officials Thursday.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen awarded the contract to Walker and Wells Contractors Inc. for $247,350, or about $3,300 per house. The project is funded by a state Community Development Block Grant that totaled about $100,000 more than the bid.

“This (project) is designed to make sewer connections in an area where people are less able to provide for themselves,” said Jimmy Nelson, an engineer with Allen & Hoshall, the firm that designed the sewer project.

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The $346,943 in grant money is more than enough to cover the project, Nelson said. The grant is matched by $25,000 in funds from the city budget.

The Kings community on North Washington Street was annexed by Vicksburg in 1990, and sewer mains were laid starting in 1994. A city ordinance requires residents to hook into city sewer lines when they become available.

Nelson estimated that the cost of hooking into the line for an individual household could range from $500 to $1,500, depending on the distance from the home to the line.

Beatrice Moore, director of housing and community development for the city, said the grant included funds for 107 homes, but the city hasn’t had enough people within the project area come forward who meet the income guidelines and will agree to let workers on their property.

While people in other annexed areas have paid for their own sewer connections, Moore said state funding was available in Kings because the area is “highly concentrated with people of low to moderate income.”

“We have a lot of unsanitary conditions that are actually health hazards in that area,” she said. “In some cases there are failing septic tanks, or there may just be a pipe that goes out into the yard, or down the hill and into a ditch.”

In addition to the hookups, the project includes a Kings pumping station to pump the sewage uphill in some locations.

The 75 homes that will be paid for by the city meet specific low-income guidelines, and were selected from among about 250 homes in the area.

Work will begin within a few weeks, and could be completed in 90 days, Nelson said.

In other business, the city:

Received bids for cleaning of bayous.

Joined the Capitol Cities Metro Narcotics Unit for a contribution of $2,500 annually. The unit is designed to

improve cooperation in drug enforcement between different jurisdictions.

Approved a list of city employees eligible to drive city vehicles.

Declared a 1999 Kendon motorcycle trailer as surplus property.

Awarded a contract for administrative services on a project to build a rail spur through the airport industrial park to Jimmy Gouras Urban Planning Consultants.

Authorized the City Clerk to advertise for bids on repaving Washington Street from Bowmar Avenue to Veto Street, and from China Street to First East Street.