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Sewage clarifier broken in Wesson

Wesson is looking at a $40,000 repair to fix part of its sewage treatment facility.

Mayor Alton Shaw said at Tuesday’s Board of Alderman meeting that the broken clarifier in the lagoon has been in operation since the ‘70s and fixing it won’t be cheap.

Alton Shaw

Alton Shaw

“The lagoon is a ballooning issue,” Shaw said. “The lagoon had a part break. A bolt broke and a piece of pipe fell off into the clarifier. The clarifier is the final stage before the water is discharged back into the creek. There is a skimmer along the bottom of it.

“The gearbox, the cheapest one we found was about $22,000 to $23,000,” Shaw said. “The repair for the skimmer arm is going to run $8,000 to $10,000. Plus you’ve got engineering expenses and so forth on top of that. The area is covered under our insurance, so we’re currently dealing with them to see what type of payout we’re going to get. Until that time, we’re looking at probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a $40,000 repair.”

Wesson public works director Mark Brown said the break has not stopped residents’ sewage.

“It doesn’t affect the sewage coming out of the houses or anything,” Brown said. “Because we’re not able to treat it, we send it to a stabilization pond until we can get everything fixed. Then we can send it back though the treatment plant.”

Shaw said he was surprised by cost of repairs.

“If you had told me six months ago a gearbox would cost almost $25,000, I’d have called you crazy,” Shaw said. “But that’s what we’ve come up with. Hopefully insurance will take care of all that.”

Shaw estimated that it would take two months to repair the clarifier.

Street paving

The board approved to allow WGK to begin bidding for a road repair plan which should materialize in the summer.

“Back in December we completed a bond bill that is going to allow us probably around $250,000 that we’re going to be able to spend on the roads,” Shaw said. “Tonight we’re going to hire out WGK to go ahead and start the paper work and get the bids out. What it will do is give us a tonnage price. Jeff has estimated we’ll be able to do around four miles in Wesson. So there will be probably I would say half the town if not more than that.”

Shaw said the roads to be repaved will be determined at a later date.

Construction permit granted

The board voted to grant a building permit to a local resident despite the protests of a neighbor. The permit would allow the resident to build a garage on the side of his home.

The neighbor argued that the public was not given enough time to respond to the request and asked the board for another month to seek legal counsel on whether or not the plan violated city zoning ordinances.

Shaw said that a vote was not technically required because no zoning variance was requested, and the zoning board did not find any violations in the submitted plans. The board did elect to vote on whether to allow the permit. Initially, only two voted “yes” and three abstained. On a second call of votes, the motion carried with three votes.

In other business:

• The board accepted the resignation of Robert Douglas from the police department.

• The board promoted Garrett Starkey with the police department to captain.

• The board promoted Joe Brown with the police department to lieutenant.