Contractor says town dropped its responsibilities

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2001

FERRIDAY -An official with Pickett Industries told the Ferriday Town Council Tuesday it is responsible for informing citizens about its sewer project.

Trey Morris told the council it was not his company’s responsibility to &uot;communicate to its residents what is going on.&uot;

&uot;It’s the town’s responsibility to tell the residents that we’re going to take down fences and clotheslines,&uot; Morris said. &uot;The town has hired an engineer and he will create a punch list. That’s my marching orders.&uot;

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Councilman Sammy Davis Jr. directed several questions to Morris, including questions about moved fences and sewage backups in area houses.

&uot;Between 8th and Utah streets, there is a pipe that is lifted up, causing water to run under a home,&uot; he said. &uot;The owners of that home have had to jack it up twice during the course of your work.

Morris told Davis his company was only &uot;substantially complete,&uot; a term that means the work is almost finished. After substantial completion is reached, Morris said, the engineer will walk through and create a &uot;punch list&uot; to determine incomplete items.

&uot;That’s what I have to go by,&uot; he said.

Councilmember Dorothy Johnson also expressed displeasure with the company’s work habits.

&uot;They just came driving across my yard with a backhoe,&uot; she said. &uot;They are very unprofessional and have torn up property wherever they have been. It has been handled very unprofessionally.&uot;

&160;In other business, the council agreed to apply to the Mississippi State Bond Commission to borrow $100,000 to help make a payment on a defaulted FHA water loan.

In October, the council was scheduled to make a $239,400, but could only pay $117,500 – an action that put the loan in default.

The current problem was caused, in part, by the theft of more than $140,000 by two former town clerks.

In late 1999, the town was forced to fork out $470,000 in repairs so a water-boiling notice could be lifted.