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City declares an emergency to repair sinkhole

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have declared an emergency to repair a broken 15-inch sewer line that is causing a sinkhole at the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said the line is a terra cotta sewer line that was on the property when the plant was built in the 1970s.

“It’s a dead line,” he said, adding the line was replaced by another line. The hole was created after the line broke and sucked in the surrounding earth. He said the line will be filled in to repair the problem.

The emergency declaration allows the board to hire a contractor to repair the problem without having to go through the bid process. The board Monday approved hiring Mitchell Construction Co., which is presently working at the plant on a digester, to repair the problem with the line.

Eddie Busby, project manager for ESG Operations Inc., which operates the plant under a contract with the city, said the problem was discovered about a month ago.

“It started sloping and then it started caving in pretty good,” he said, adding the hole is on the corner of the plant’s office building at the end of the building. It’s out of the way. It’s not causing any problems as of now, but if it caves off anymore and we don’t do anything about it… there’s a lot of trucks coming in.”

In another matter, the board accepted a bid of $308,240 from Greenbriar Digging Service Limited Partnership of Brookhaven to expand utility services to a residential development on Indiana Avenue.

Van Norman said the company will expand existing 8-inch water and sewer lines and a 2-inch gas line to the subdivision.

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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