PUBLIC WORKS Director Darin Todd briefed the council last week.
Cairo’s newly refurbished MacIvor Drive water plant is fully operational and water pumping and treatment is now taking place alternately at the new plant and the plant located at Cairo Municipal Airport.
Both plants have arsenic treatment capabilities and the city’s supply of drinking water is being treated for arsenic.
“This has been a year in the making and quite an undertaking with a $4.7 million price tag,” said Chris Addleton, Cairo city manager.
Addleton said for too many years the city had put “all of our eggs in one basket” and had relied on the wells, high service pumps and treatment facility at MacIvor Drive without a backup source of safe, drinking water.
“We lived on the edge for a long time. What has been accomplished in the last few years, both with the council here and those who served previously, all deserve a pat on the back as well as the staff involved. We lived without water for a little while two years ago but now if we have one go down we can swap back and forth. We’ve got an ample supply of water we can treat,” Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said.
Public works director Darin Todd concurred with Councilman Douglas and said, “We’ve come a long way with our water system.”
Todd also gave the council a demonstration of the city’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition or SCADA system that monitors the operations of the city’s two water plants, the wells, high-service pumps, sewer lift stations and elevated tanks.
With easy access from a computer, cell phone or tablet, Todd demonstrated how he can monitor operations and make adjustments to water treatment remotely.
Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Cox described the system as state-of-the-art and Addleton said it was “impressive technology.”
In other business at the March 9 meeting, the council:
Heard a report from Thomas L. Lehman, attorney for the Cairo City Council, that the city’s lease with the U.S. Postal Service for the Cairo post office expires April 11 and the property will be transferred to the ownership of the postal service at that time. Lehman said he is currently working to resolve a disputed survey. According to the city attorney, the postal service’s survey does not match up with the survey done by the city when the facility was constructed. “Their survey didn’t make sense,” Addleton said and Lehman replied, “I don’t see how they drew their conclusions.”
The council adopted a new ordinance regulating short term rentals in the city and set the fee at $75 annually for property owners wishing to lease out their residence on a short-term basis.
Approved special event permits for the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club 5k run walk on Saturday, May 2; the St. Thomas P.B. Church’s Easter Egg Hunt at Southern Terrace Park on April 11 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.; a tent revival at 514 Eighth Street S.W; and the third annual Easter Egg Drop at the Cairo Municipal Airport on Saturday, April 11 hosted by former mayor Booker Gainor. (The Egg Drop has since been canceled)