Sardis Board agrees to lower NPHS water bill after leak found 12/5/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Sardis Board agrees to lower NPHS water bill after leak found

By Rupert Howell
The Sardis board of mayor and aldermen took two matters under advisement at Tuesday’s December meeting including ordering  a new fire truck and giving North Panola School District a break on an inflated water bill due to leakage, but one was  acted upon later in the meeting.

“Please don’t make me bid,” Fire Chief Chuck Moore pleaded to alderman after presenting them with his recommendation that included the fire truck he wanted for $275,765.

Moore explained that $100,000 would come from Panola County, $70,000 would come from a state grant. The remaining $105,000 would have to be borrowed but a grant covering the difference and another $40,000 may be available Moore explained.

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He said payment on any loan, if needed, would not be due until two years from now, or one year after delivery of the truck if financed through the manufacturer.

Moore also stated that chances were a bid would come in possibly $20,000 lower than the state bid price but noted, “I’ve talked to many fire chiefs over the years that are not very happy with the trucks that came from a particular manufacturer,” although he didn’t name the specific manufacturer.

Alderman originally tabled a request to decrease the water/sewer bill caused by a leak noticed after usage readings spiked at North Panola Schools.

Following the executive session and after everyone except board members had vacated the building, aldermen voted to give North Panola a $10,000 credit on their water bill.

North Panola maintenance supervisor John Reed noted the leak was hard to find, one was found and repaired, and a plumbing contractor was hired.

The leak was under a slab and Superintendent Cedric Richardson stated poor construction a couple of years back led to the problem. He said the construction warranty was only for one year. Noticed in September, the leaking water entered into the sewer making it hard to find. The school’s water bill account was at $40,000 according to conversation during the meeting.

Aldermen at first appeared hesitant to assist until their attorney, Tommy Shuler, made them aware of the law that allows them to make adjustments to water bills on city buildings or schools.
Alderman-at-large Roy Scallorn said prior to Shuler’s comments that he would be in favor of adjusting a portion of the water usage and sewer charges.

Then Shuler came forward with the law that does not apply to residential or private properties where most complaints and problems arise and where the board is limited to only reducing the sewage use portion of the bill.

Sardis board members began discussing a past due $22,000 bill owed to the city by the Town of Como before Scallorn recommended discussing the matter behind closed doors.

Other business during Tuesday’s December meeting included reports from engineer David Evans and department heads police Chief Chris Martin and Public Works Director Troyce McDowell.

Evans received approval for payment on ongoing sidewalk repair on Main Street and Martin received approval for calendar ad sales revenue to be placed into the department’s uniform fund in the amount of approximately $1,100.

McDowell received permission to travel to a pollutant workshop in  Grenada and police officer Ryan Baker will travel to a Technical Accident Investigation—Level III class.