City takes bids on upgrading electrical system at water treatment plant

Published 6:53 pm Sunday, February 25, 2018

Three Jackson area contractors have submitted bids to upgrade the electrical system at Vicksburg’s water treatment plant on Haining Road.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday took under advisement bids from McInnis Electric of Jackson, $2.8 million; Electro-Mech Inc. of Richland, $2.2 million; and Hemphill Construction of Richland, $2.58 million.

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The project will remove the plant’s 50-year-old electrical system and replace it with modern equipment.

The board in November approved a resolution to borrow money for the project from the gas department’s $9 million surplus to fund the project. The gas department surplus is available cash accumulated over the years that can be used in emergencies.

The short-term loan would be repaid to the gas department through a utilities bond issue paid off by water and sewer user fees.

The move to borrow the money came after an electrical problem in early November shut down the plant.

A previous electrical problem in August 2016 in which a tree falling on a power line knocked out power to the city’s well fields caused a drop in pressure at the plant and was later responsible for causing the plant’s four pumps to shut down, leaving the city without water for almost 12 hours. The city was under a boil water notice for four days.

The electrical system at the water treatment plant is the same one that was operating when the plant went online in 1967, and replacement parts for the system are unavailable.

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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