Decision on Eagle Lake debris cleanup delayed, pushed to new supervisors

Published 5:08 pm Monday, December 23, 2019

A decision to handle huge amounts of debris left behind by home demolitions in the Eagle Lake community will be decided by the new Warren County Board of Supervisors after the current board decided Monday to delay a decision.

In its effort to help flood victims recover from the historic Yazoo Backwater Area flood, Team Rubicon agreed to demolish 24 homes that had been severely damaged and move the demolition debris to the county rights of way. The county agreed to handle the work of hauling off the debris.

In a meeting in early December, supervisors agreed to seek bids for hauling services that would provide large dumpers to handle the debris after it was collected by county crews. The dumpsters would be staged in the Eagle Lake area, allowing crews to remove the debris faster from the rights of way without having to make multiple and time-consuming trips to the landfill.

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During their meeting Dec. 16, Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer gave supervisors an update of the work, saying Team Rubicon had demolished 24 homes, creating 246,896 cubic feet of debris, or the equivalent of 305 30-yard dumpsters.

Using historic costs, county purchasing agent Tonga Vinson said that at $600 per 30-yard dumpster, the estimated cost of hauling the debris would be more than $180,000.

During Monday’s visit, Vinson unveiled the results of the bid openings for the hauling service. The lowest of three bids provided came from the Vicksburg Warren County Landfill at $450 per dumpster.

With that figure and the estimated number of dumpsters needed, the hauling cost estimate came to $137,250.

Instead of approving the bid, and the work, supervisors instead voted to take the issue “under advisement,” thus pushing the decision back to at least January and the new Board of Supervisors, who officially take office Wednesday, Jan. 1. That board’s first official meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 6.

In delaying the decision, supervisors also said it would be important for county crews to determine a number of items before a decision should be made. First, supervisors asked crews to evaluate the debris to get a better estimate on the amount and second, determine if all of the debris was properly placed on the county rights of way.

By law, the county is not allowed to do work on private property.

Unfortunately for the county’s finances, the cost of hauling the debris cannot be money reimbursed as part of ongoing cleanup efforts from the flood.

The county had been under an emergency declaration order that allowed for cleanup items to be reimbursed from state and federal agencies, but that declaration ended in October.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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