Debris removal begins in county, at standstill in city
After being delayed due to protests over the winning bid, debris removal has begun in Yazoo County now that the Corps of Engineers has settled the contract dispute.
Yazoo City officials still haven’t determined what course to take.
Southern Contracting Services of Kosciusko has been awarded the $1.8 million contract. Company owner Donnell Coleman, a Yazoo County native, told the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors last week that the protesting companies claimed he wasn’t eligible because he wasn’t from the affected area.
“The biggest concern was that they claim I’m not from the impacted area,” Coleman said. “Most of you know that I was born and raised in Yazoo. I lived here all my life until I married a Kosciusko girl. Kosciusko is also an affected area.”
Coleman said this week that the enormous task of removing the debris is now under way.
Crews will transport wood debris and downed trees to a burn area near U.S. Highway 49 and Miss. Highway 3. Construction and demolition debris will go to the local landfill.
Kavanaugh Breazeale with the Corps of Engineers said all of the trucks and equipment has been inspected and all of the drivers and heavy equipment operators have verified that they are certified.
“Thursday was the first full day of debris removal,” Breazeale said. “Things are now getting up to full steam.”
Crews began working on Old Benton Road and Ingram Road.
Debris removal remains at a standstill for Yazoo City. Two days after the storm the city entered into a contract with Jackson-based engineering firm Integrated Management Services with Ward 2 Alderman Jack Varner opposing.
Mayor McArthur Straughter confirmed Thursday that nearly a month after the storm the process was at a standstill.
“With our deal with IMS, part of that needs to be reviewed by the Corps,” Straughter said. “According to our counselor, we have not gotten word back from the corps as it relates to that contract. We have to wait before the city can make a decision to go with the corps or IMS.”
Sen. Kenneth Jones told The Herald Thursday that he encourages contractors to use local help whenever possible.
“They need to work through the local WIN Job Center,” Jones said. “Hiring locals will reinvest the money in this community, and there are plenty of people desperately needing the work.”
Last Updated (Friday, 21 May 2010 16:33)