Eutaw loses $300,000 sewer grant

At the regualr meeting of the Eutaw City Council on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Council member Sheila Smith asked  Mayor Raymond Steele about the status of the $300,000 Delta Regional Commission grant to replace the sewer line on Boligee Street.

It has been reported lately that this grant was being taken back by the Delta Regional Commission. In response Steele said that the problems with this grant were all due to issues with the engineers and funding agencies, and were not his fault. He criticized those members of the council who had contacted the Delta Regional Commission asking questions about the withdrawal of the grant.

A report on possible water and sewer projects was presented by representatives of Almond & Associates. The water projects included replacement of the water lines on Mesopotamia Street and the installation of a new 6” water line out to the Eutaw Airport. Sewer improvements included replacement or upgrading of sewer lift stations on the line coming from Boligee and a service line to residents on Lock 7 Road. The total estimated cost for all of these projects was $2,184,655.

Almond & Associates proposes to do the pre-engineering work that would be necessary to apply for USDA Rural Development grants and loan for a fee of $30,000.

Smith questioned the selection of the projects that were submitted, particularly why a water line would be needed at the airport. Council member Ralph Liverman raised the question as to what the city could expect to get for grants to cover the total cost of the project. He said that even with a combination of grants and loans it would be necessary to increase water and sewer rates to pay off any loan. The issue was then tabled for more discussion in a working meeting.

A representative of Waste Management appeared before the council. He reported that his company had done an inventory of all garbage accounts, similar to what city staff had done earlier and that they found that Waster Management was billing the city for 92 accounts that did not exist.

Liverman pointed out that this miscount was costing the city $1,085 a month, or $13,020 a year. The representative pointed out that their contract did not specify a certain amount of accounts and suggested that another inventory be made of the commercial accounts. Liverman said that he felt that an inventory of all garbage accounts should be made at least twice each year.

There was a discussion of bills to be paid. Council members Joe Powell and Hattie Edwards expressed concern over the bills from Greene County for keeping prisoners in the county jail. Last month the city paid over $3,000 to the county and the bill for the current month is $1,800.

Edwards asked for a detailed listing for each month. Police Chief Tommy Summerville reported that the county is considering raising the rate for housing prisoners from $30 per day to $45 per day.

Liverman pointed out that sales tax collections for September were $43,167, which was about the same amount collected in August. Prior to August sales tax collections had been running around $47,000 per month. He raised the question as to whether or not the decrease in collections was due to the closing at Greentrack. He went on to say that if this rate continues the city would have to reduce its sales tax projections about $3,000 to $4,000 per month.

A motion was made by  Liverman to go into an executive session. The motion was approved and the Council went into executive session.

Liverman then asked for a Finance Committee meeting to work on the 2010-2011 Budget. A meeting was set for Monday, October 25, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall.

Powell asked about some problems where the pavement appears to be sinking on Vera Vista Street.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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