Upgrades continue for city wastewater treatment plant 8/11/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Upgrades continue for city wastewater treatment plant

By John Howell
Batesville officials during their August 3 meeting approved a payment of $272,081.79 to Hemphill Construction as part of an ongoing $1.5 million project begun last August to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The $1.5 million project was awarded to Hemphill in August, 2014. It utilizes $800,000 in federal funds set aside as an “earmark” in 2010. The $1.5 million rehabilitation project followed a $450,000 project completed last year to replace the ultraviolet light treatment stage at the plant. Both projects are steps toward upgrading the wastewater treatment plant toward compliance with pending water discharge quality standards as yet unannounced by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wastewater treatment plant superintendent David Karr has been preparing other city officials for years about the pending EPA requirements, preparing them for what he anticipates as a multi-million dollar upgrade.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Karr told the mayor and aldermen when the $1.5 million contract was let last August that its completion along with the ultraviolet system upgrade would help prepare the treatment plant for the pending water quality standards.

In other business during the August 4 meeting:
• Aldermen voted unanimously to fine a garbage collection customer at 117 Shagbark Drive if the resident continues to leave the home’s garbage container at curbside after pickup. City regulations require the containers to be removed from curbside by 4 p.m. on the day of pickup;
• City employees will be covered for a second year by AirEvac for air medical ambulance transportation. The mayor and aldermen added the coverage as an employee benefit last year. On August 4 they voted to pay $7,875 that covers 175 employees for another year at an annual premium of $45 each;

• Aldermen approved renewal of an annual agreement with the South Panola School District to rent for city use the Boothe Street gym for city-sponsored athletic activities, the Atwell Street auditorium and a classroom for special use. The city agreed to pay $5,000 annual rent to the school district;

• City officials also approved Ruby Fowler’s request to hold the Fourth Annual St. Jude Walk-A-Thon at Trussell Park on September 19;

• Aldermen approved a payment to Panola County of $17,735 as its half of a $35,470 joint city/county project for connector road construction linking Pine Lodge Road with Medical Center Drive;

• The mayor and aldermen took under advisement a request by Jennifer Westmoreland of Water Valley to adopt “Noah’s Law,” a measure “to stop the sale of caffeine pills and powder to anyone under 18,” she said. During an emotional plea to the city officials Westmoreland said her 17-year-old son had died from an overdose of the stimulant. Noah’s Law was introduced as a proposed law in the Mississippi Legislature during its 2015 session, Westmoreland said. The measure passed the House but failed in the Senate.