Emergency spending just part of keeping city’s infrastructure up and running

Published 9:22 am Friday, January 20, 2017

Two events this week, again, highlight the importance Vicksburg — and other municipalities — must continue to place on infrastructure and city services.

As the city of Brookhaven ended what was a week-long boil water notice, a notice issued by the state, questions were raised on what problems led to the low pressure and quality issues, and even more questions on what appeared to be a slow response by city officials.

In the case of Vicksburg, city officials approved emergency spending to replace one of the two clarifiers at the city’s water treatment facility on Haining Road.

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The clarifier, being replaced for nearly $200,000, was damaged in February, when water from an unknown source cut its way under the clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant and forced its way up, lifting the clarifier off its pilings and out of the ground, and bursting several pipes under the concrete basin.

The clarifier is one of two at the treatment plant and is part of the wastewater treatment process.

Each clarifier is 100 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep. The damaged unit was shut down, and the plant has been operating with one clarifier.

In his comments before the city’s Board of Mayor and Alderman, public works director Garnet Van Norman said the repairs would be made in a few months.

Vicksburg residents and businesses can surely sympathize with our friends and neighbors in Brookhaven.

Vicksburg has itself plenty of experience with boil water notices, some that nearly shut down life in Vicksburg for a few days. That is why such spending, such investment in the city’s infrastructure is so important.

There is not one form of government that looks forward to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars — or millions of dollars — on infrastructure. Infrastructure projects are rarely glamorous or even newsworthy — until key parts of that infrastructure break down.

As we have said in the past, Vicksburg is a historic city — an old city — and at times, old things wear out and break.

We continue to urge city leaders to be forward thinking and find ways to further invest in infrastructure.