Engineer presents update on projects
by Chance Wright
Dec 05, 2012 | 2664 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland Engineer Greg Korb appeared before the board of aldermen Tuesday night with an update on four large projects currently taking place within the city.

The first project updated was the bicycle trail, located on the south end of the Greenstrip downtown.

"We are about 96 percent complete with this project," said Korb. "All of the lights and paving has been done and we are waiting to seed the turf and put the park benches down."

Korb added that concrete would be poured today; weather permitting, in an attempt to complete the handicap ramp leading to the park from the parking lot.

The bicycle trail was made possible by a $713,107 grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Earlier this year the board of aldermen allocated $991,781 in the budget to complete the project.

The next project updated by Korb is the construction of the storm water pumping plant located in the Southeast part of the city.

"It is about 80 percent complete at this time," said Korb. "The main structure is done. The discharge structure is done. We still have some piping and the pump itself should be in next week."

The storm water pumping plant project was made possible by an approximate $505,000 grant from the Mississippi Development Authority.

"Basically the grant came on the heels of Hurricane Katrina when money was spread around the state to help communities alleviate flooding," said Korb.

The pumping plant will help standing water drain off of streets at times of high water in southeast Cleveland.

"If you haven't been done MLK extended across from Amzie Moore Park you should really go down there and see it," said Korb. "It’s a big structure so you can't miss it."

The next project update came on the Cleveland Municipal Airport's runway extension project.

"Basically we are on hold as far as the paving is concerned," said Korb

Korb explained that asphalt could only be laid in warmer temperature so that portion of the project will not resume until the spring.

"The electricians are on-site and working on the wiring for the runway and taxi lighting," he said.

The runway extension project came to fruition through grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Association.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and Sen. Roger Wicker reported in 2010 that more than 30 Mississippi airport facilities would benefit from the $8.6 million in federal Airport Improvement Program grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The final update came on the progress of replacing all the city's water meters.

"We are about four and a half months into the water meter project and have already replaced approximately 1,000 meters," said Korb. "Of that number, we have only had about two or three percent where we have had to go back and tighten a bolt or something minor like that."

Siemens is the general contractor for the project and they have contracted out work to local plumbers.

The work is related to an almost $3.267 million dollar project to upgrade the city's aging system, approved by the board earlier this year.

"By law, we get to look at that figure over a 15 year term,” said Siemens representative Chris McNeil of the initial investment at that meeting. “The way the MDA guidelines read is that the system must be able to pay for itself over a 15-year period."

McNeil added that this new system should net the city, at a minimum, $620,000 in positive cash flow over the term of the loan and that money is guaranteed.

"Working with the MDA, by law we have to guarantee that figure," McNeil explained. "If the city decides that this is something that they want to do, then we (Siemens) are on the hook for the next 15 years. If the revenues do not match what is in that study over that period of time then we have to write a check back to the city to cover the difference."

Korb said that the process of replacing the meters would cause a short interruption in service and a minimal inconvenience as possible but that the work had to be done.

"The contractors will continue placing door hangers at residences telling them when they will be performing the work at that location," said Korb. "Most of the work will just require replacing the meter in the box and some may require more work if the box is an old cast iron box or if it is in concrete."

In those situations, the radio signal from the box to the reader's transmitter cannot be received and the cast iron box must be replaced with plastic.

Korb said that during the process all boxes have been brought up to ground level, or as close as possible, and property has been returned to its previous condition.

"Upon completion of the installation at a location, the contractors are returning yards and concrete back to its original condition," he said.

Korb said that the process is a necessary improvement to the system and asks that all residents continue to be patient.

"We ask that residents give the contractors time to complete this task," said Korb. "If anyone should have any questions please feel free to contact the city engineer's office at 846-5706."