City to put $1.3 million toward clarifier repair

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Replacing a damaged clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road will cost the city $1.3 million.

That’s how much the city has to provide in matching funds for a $600,000 Mississippi Development Authority Community Development Block Grant to replace the clarifier, which popped out of the ground in February, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen learned Monday.

The total cost of replacing the unit, which used in the wastewater treatment process, is estimated at $2.7 million. The initial replacement cost was estimated at $1.9 million.

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The project is in the design phase and has not been advertised for bids.

“This is the difference in the new total cost and the amount of CDBG funds which are available to us for this project,” city grants coordinator Marcia Weaver told the board, adding the city has $139,736 remaining from an original grant to repair the clarifier that can go toward replacing the clarifier. She said the MDA will give the city an additional $187,000 toward the project, provided the city comes up with the $1.3 million.

Because the project won’t be ready for construction until the next fiscal year, the board will have to include the match in its 2017 fiscal budget, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

The city has two 41-year-old clarifiers operating at the wastewater treatment plant that allow solids to settle out of the wastewater as part of the sewage treatment process.

The board in 2015 received a $413,000 MDA CDBG to repair one of the clarifiers with the city providing a $790,000 match.

While the repair work was underway, an unknown underground water source Feb. 12 popped the 20-foot deep, 100-foot diameter pool from its pilings above ground and burst several pipes under it, including a 30-inch water line.

The incident forced the city to seek additional emergency funds to replace it. The board spent an additional $80,820 with Engineering Services, a division of Jackson-based M&G Enterprises, which was working on the repairs, to begin the engineering for the new clarifier.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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