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Wesson board tackles waste water woes

A lift station at Wesson’s wastewater treatment facility is no longer moving wastewater from lower to higher elevations, and must be repaired.

The Wesson Board of Alderman addressed the issue at their regular meeting Tuesday.

“They’re somewhat antiquated to say the least,” Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw said. “I could not find an adequate comparable replacement. With that said, we’ve got some quotes to re-pump.”

Emergency one-time maintenance projects like this one are the No. 1 reason the city has extra unspent money set aside for water, according to Shaw. The re-pumping project will cost the city $27,240. The contract for the project was given to Delta Process Equipment.

“Folks look at our accounts. They say, ‘you have $40,000, why aren’t you doing this, this and this?’ Because these things happen. While they’re rare, they are expensive. Fortunately we do have about $42,000 in water.”

Shaw said Wesson does have breakdown insurance, and there is precedent for insurance covering projects where an equal comparable part cannot be found, but it will all depend on the conclusions of a report determining the official cause of the breakdown.

“We’re going to try,” he said. “I’m hopeful that insurance will cover it, but I can’t guarantee that they will,” Shaw said. “I’ll turn it over to them and we’ll ride it out.”

New software for Wesson

The Wesson Board of Aldermen also approved a plan to try two new software packages to replace aging BBI software.

Shaw said the city had been using the software packages since before he became mayor 16 years ago. According to Shaw, the company announced they will be dropping support for their legacy software packages, and there are no discounts for upgrades.

“The total cost is a little over $20,000 and isn’t something we’ve been optimistic about,” Shaw said.

As a result, Shaw said the city has been in the market for alternatives. One of the alternatives the city went with is a court records package from Data Systems Management.

Shaw said the up-front installation cost of the system will be $1,100, and a monthly cost of $150, adding up to $1,800 a year. Maintenance costs for the BBI court system is $750.

In addition to a lower-cost, Shaw said there were other benefits to the package.

“It will include all updates, support and everything else,” he said. “It’s cloud-based, so if anything happens — if the building burns down or something like that — it is not lost.”

The board also approved to apply for a free trial for Quickbooks to replace budget and payroll systems. If the board agrees to continue with the software, it will cost the city $1,400 a year. This is a $200 increase from the current system, but Shaw said this is also a cloud-based solution that includes continuous updates and support.

“That seems like it almost makes more sense than court,” he said.

Shaw said the city will continue to have access to the BBI package during the trial, and the board will evaluate the Quickbooks package in the November meeting.

The board will meet again Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Wesson Library. The location of the meeting was changed to the library to accommodate elections.