City of Vicksburg sewer upgrade cost increases to $3.05 million

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Increased project costs involving repairs and upgrades to Vicksburg’s 115-year-old sewer system have forced city officials to make changes in a loan agreement with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved an amendment to the $2,530,110 loan it made in October 2020 that increases the total amount by about $518,120 to $3,048,229.86.

City Attorney Kim Nailor said the increase was because of pre-bid construction costs, professional service contracts and other costs. Nailor said the increase also raises the monthly notes on the loan to $13,910.65 per month — an increase from the original notes of $11,544.69.

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According to the loan document, the monthly payments will be withheld for DEQ by the Mississippi Department of Revenue from the city’s monthly sales tax disbursements.

The loan is one of several the city has made through DEQ’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to cities, water districts, counties and wastewater authorities for wastewater treatment and collection facilities and pollution control projects.

The board in May 2018 applied to get on the state’s priority list for a loan to meet the requirements of an Environmental Protection Agency consent decree after tests determined raw sewage was allowed to flow into local streams and the Mississippi River.

Under the terms of the consent decree, which was signed in 2013, the city paid a $17,000 fine and was required to assess, map, repair, replace and upgrade its aging sewer system over a 10-year period. The EPA in March 2019 lifted the consent decree, but the city is still required to continue its work on the sewer system.

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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