City switches engineers on water pipe project

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Jackson engineering firm has been hired to design and install the City of Vicksburg’s second major water line being funded by a federal infrastructure program.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved Monday with a 2-1 vote to hire IMS Engineers for $3,295,475 to complete the project that would give the city a second source of water if its main water line was compromised.

South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman voted against hiring IMS because Allen & Hoshall engineering firm of Jackson was the company contracted to move the city’s water main that had been disrupted due to a land shift March 26 at Washington and Jackson streets.

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“I’d just hate to see us change midstream on something this big,” he said. “To me, I don’t want to change with what we have.”

Mayor Paul Winfield and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said the project is an opportunity to welcome new businesses to the city.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to allow other businesses to come in here to participate with our city and see what we have to offer,” Winfield said. “And, when they do, I’m confident they’ll invest in our communities as well.”

Mayfield added, “This is in the realm of making sure that you open the field, rather than just locking into one individual. IMS has the manpower and the know-how to take on a project such as this. To me, this is one of the most serious projects that we have to undertake.”

Previously, IMS has been contracted by the city to work on soil conservation projects on North Frontage Road and on Pauline Drive and North Washington Street.

The city had secured a $2,453,654 infrastructure grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers called Section 592 and, with that grant, the city was required to match $841,821 for the project, which calls for 14,000 feet of 30-inch pipe to be installed from the water plant on Haining Road, east to North Washington Street.

The pipe would run south toward downtown, east up the historic Fort Nogales site, then be routed south beneath Fort Hill Drive and eventually tie into existing lines.

The project is expected to take at least eight months to complete, after which the city will have water supplied from both lines.

Meanwhile, over 500 items of the city’s inventory that was declared surplus or scrap will be up for sale in a public auction Nov. 13. The board OK’d an agreement with Mississippi Auction Services, LLC to conduct the auction set to begin at 8 a.m. at the City Park Pavilion on Lee Street. The auctioning company will receive 10 percent of sales.