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Board backs $625,000 bridge contract

Lincoln County supervisors Monday approved a $625,000 contractfor a new bridge in District Three.

“It’s long overdue,” said District Three Supervisor Nolan EarlWilliamson about the concrete bridge over Topisaw Creek on WellmanRoad. “It will be a pleasure to get that wooden bridge redone.”

The $625,752 contract awarded to Oddee Smith and Son was thelowest of five bids received and the only bid under the engineer’sestimate of $648,109 for the project. Other bids were as high as$761,168.

Marty Hilton, State Aid road engineer, said the project will bedone with Lincoln County’s share of $35 million that was borrowedto do bridge replacement project.

Williamson estimated the new bridge had been sought for about 12years. The contract, once finalized and signed, calls for a150-working-day construction period.

Also Monday, Charles Burke, Lincoln County’s representative onthe Southwest Mississippi Solid Waste Management Authority, spoketo the board about Department of Environmental Quality concernsover the region’s solid waste plan.

In 1992, seven counties and municipalities in those countiesadopted a 20-year plan for dealing with solid waste. However, Burkesaid Monday that DEQ officials had indicated concerns regarding theplan’s implementation.

“It’s not being implemented and they are going to review it,”Burke said.

Originally, the authority intended to develop a regionallandfill to address new environmental regulations in the early1990s. However, Burke said costs for garbage disposal came in attwice the amount counties and cities could pay through the privatesector.

According to a DEQ letter Burke gave the board, agency officialssaid it appeared that member counties are handling garbage servicesindividually rather than implementing the regional plan. Officialsalso cited a lack of ongoing efforts to update the plan, a lack ofmonetary resources and inadequate representation of membercounties.

Burke said DEQ officials wanted to meet with county officials todiscuss the situation. A date and time has not be scheduled.

“It’s going to hit us pretty quick, now,” Burke said.