Caledonia delays decision on water line repair

December 5, 2012 9:17:50 AM

Carmen K. Sisson - [email protected]


A water leak on Stanley Road in Caledonia may have been fortuitous, albeit costly.  


While searching for the source of the leak, Caledonia water superintendent Benny Coleman stumbled upon something that isn't a problem now but could become one, he told the board of aldermen Tuesday night. 


Erosion in a deep ravine north of Freeman Road and west of Honnell Mill Road has exposed 20 feet of PVC pipe, leaving it suspended in mid-air and vulnerable to freezing. 


Coleman told the aldermen it will be necessary to bore beneath the ravine, which is 25-feet deep, and use a 100-foot piece of pipe to tie the pieces together. But a quote from Perma Corp. -- the only local company he said is qualified to do the work -- estimates the project will cost around $4,500.  


Though alderman Quinn Parham asked about using a steel casing to protect the PVC, Coleman said continued erosion will only expose more pipe.  


"It's been up there 40 years," Mayor George Gerhart said. "I'd like to see another quote. It seems like somebody could haul some dirt in there." 


Coleman said the exposed pipe, which is 25 to 30 feet off the road, stood out to him as soon as he saw it, and with the amount of water pressure running through the line, he foresees problems if it remains in its current condition.  


The board voted unanimously to table the issue, with Parham making the motion and alderman Brenda Willis seconding it.  


They also voted unanimously to pay Chism Frame & Body Shop $2,431.69 to repair the front grill and bumper of a recently-purchased 2012 pickup truck used by the water department. Both the truck and another water department vehicle were damaged in a minor fender bender, Coleman said. The second vehicle sustained damage to its tailgate. 


In other news, Town Attorney Jeff Smith told the aldermen that a proposed water rate increase is still pending approval by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Smith anticipates the commission may hold a public hearing on the issue as early as January.  


If the rate increase is approved, customers using 1,000 gallons of water or less in a billing cycle will pay a flat rate of $7.25, with an additional $7.25 charged for every 1,000 gallons used. 


The next board of aldermen meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 6 p.m. The board ordinarily meets on the first Tuesday of every month, but the January schedule was changed due to the New Year's Day holiday.

Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.