City OKs water improvement project

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2019


NATCHEZ — A citywide water improvement project will soon be underway after Natchez aldermen unanimously voted Monday to enter into a professional services agreement with WGK Inc. to move forward with the project.

Though the quality of Natchez’s drinking water is fine, Natchez Water Works superintendent, Tony Moon, said the city’s outdated water system has been in need of updates for quite some time to meet the city’s water demands under certain conditions, such as extreme weather, fire or for to supply future industries.

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The project, which is estimated to cost $2.5 million, is partly funded by a $600,000 community development grant, Moon said, while the remainder is covered by a $1.9 million state loan to Natchez Water Works.

Moon said added developments would include adding upgrades to controls on wells that were constructed more than 30 years ago, adding generators for an added layer of protection in the case of power outages and adding meters at the Cedar Lane Water Treatment Plant to better track and manage water loss.

Moon said the plan includes adding water mains and new, larger water lines and hydrants along Providence Road and Lewis Drive, which will improve both water service and fire protection for at least 30 Natchez Water Works customers with older water lines.

Moon said the improvements would increase the water capacity for any new and future industries at the Natchez-Adams County Port industrial areas. The plan also includes adding high service pumps at the Cedar Lane Water Treatment Plant and at the Brenham Avenue ground storage tanks, which would add necessary water redundancy for extreme demands as well as allow one pump to go off-line for maintenance or repair needs, Moon said.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the board:

4Unanimously approved the start of construction on the “Proud to Take a Stand Monument,” which commemorates Civil Rights activists who were wrongly incarcerated during an incident known as the “Parchman Ordeal.” Officials said the monument is funded by a wide array of public and private donations as well as $36,000 in city funds allocated from casino gaming revenue.

4Unanimously approved the renewal of a contract for landscape maintenance around the Bridge of Sighs to U.S. Lawns.

4Unanimously approved the switch to LED lighting for light fixtures in the city that are owned by Entergy. Public Works supervisor, Justin Dollar, said Entergy provided figures that show the switch would cause a $13,000 expense for the installation of new lights. However, Dollar said, the switch would pay for itself after the first year with savings of approximately $1,200 per month on the city’s energy bill.

4Unanimously approved purchase of a crew truck for approximately $25,000 and a mower for approximately $12,600 for the public works department.

4Granted approvals for the Natchez Senior Center and Natchez Transit Center to apply for grant funds for public transportation by a vote of 5-0, with alderman Dan Dillard abstaining his vote. Dillard requested that the centers provide more information about the match requirements for the grants.

4Unanimously granted approval for the Natchez Transit Center to apply for Multi-Modal Capital Improvements Transportation funds that require no match from the center’s funds.

4Unanimously granted approval for the Natchez Transit Center to declare certain vehicles that are broken or not useable as surplus to be sold or disposed of with associated funds deposited in the Natchez Transit account.

4Unanimously and retroactively approved inter-fund loans from the general fund to cover city expenses to be reimbursed when ad valorem tax revenue is received.