June 16, 2018 10:02:38 PM
The Starkville Board of Aldermen confirmed in a Friday work session at city hall it will vote at its next board meeting on whether to begin accepting proposals from contractors for replacing water and sewer infrastructure in Starkville's Pleasant Acres neighborhood.
The decision followed a brief presentation by Starkville Utilities Director Terry Kemp, who described a "proactive approach" to addressing the city's need for updated systems.
"Where he's going to start is Pleasant Acres because that's what's generating the most calls about repairs," said Mayor Lynn Spruill during the informal public meeting.
Kemp said pending board approval, his department hopes to start working with a contractor by the end of July.
"Sewer we know is an area we're going to change," Kemp said. "Water is currently served by several different systems. Our intent here is to consolidate that."
The Dispatch previously reported water infrastructure in some areas of Starkville is more than 50 years old, and the city's renovation plan would include replacing aging metal pipes with PVC pipes.
Kemp said Friday that part of the project would include getting any property impacted by system replacements as close to its original state as possible by the project's end.
"We'd do the rework, and right behind that start with the clean-up," Kemp said.
The replacements should reduce brown water issues, increase water capacity and efficiency, and produce monetary savings over time, Kemp said.
According to Kemp, the utilities department will have a cost estimate for replacements once it identifies a contractor that can handle the scope of the project. He said all money for repairs will come from utility rates, not taxpayer dollars.
Kemp also discussed another site on the city's radar for repairs: Starkville's Green Oaks neighborhood.
"We realize there are a lot of other pockets around town that need attention," Kemp said, "so our maintenance crews will continue to monitor those."
He said over the next six to nine months, city residents should gain a better understanding of the utility department's long-term -- possibly city-wide -- replacement plan.
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