Vidalia seeks help with funds for wastewater system

Published 12:17 am Thursday, August 15, 2019


VIDALIA — Vidalia is gearing up to tackle approximately $5.4 million needed in repairs after the record-long Mississippi River flood comes to an end, officials said.

The river water finally receded below the flooding state of 48-feet last week after more than 213 consecutive days of high water.

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Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said upgrades to the town’s sewage system may be the key to providing a long-term solution for other flooding events.

Craft said the town is currently seeking help from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund much-needed changes to the town’s wastewater system, allowing it to pump water out to the Mississippi River at a higher capacity.

“They (GOHSEP and FEMA) have been given our estimates on those repairs … and they are going to tell us what they will pay for,” Craft said. “We have to fix them regardless, and of course we want to get whatever we can from state and federal funds.”

The system is built to process 1.5 million gallons of wastewater, Craft said during a board meeting last month, and was actually processing 2.2 million gallons with added seepage and flood water.

Craft said Wednesday, that the problem could be fixed with an additional pumping station near the Vidalia cemetery, which is estimated to cost approximately $396,000.

In total, Craft said the town is looking to spend $2.5 million in sewer repairs, $526,000 in road overlay, $2,047,000 in drainage and $325,000 in water well repairs.