Board of Aldermen and Citizens of Mound Bayou:
Happy New Year! As promised, this is the first of many updates and information to address concerns and report on efforts to resolve issues that impact our community. As you know, on June 8, 2021 (Election Day) 2021 the City of Mound Bayou was flooded. This pointed to the urgency to lessen the seriousness
of flooding of our streets and homes. Supervisor Olando Morton reported on a meeting with the Drainage District Committee regarding the flooding in District 3 a few days later. Then more rainy times occurred in June and Mound Bayou citizens were provided help, including sand bags and encouraged to do what they could to avoid a repeat of the flooding that occurred on Election Day.
Assessment of the need, as much as possible was done; however, I could not begin official tasks and meetings as the Mayor of Mound Bayou until July 5, 2021. Meetings were arranged and by August, 2021, for immediate relief, the drainage throughout the City was cleared as much as possible. At the same time, talks were begun with infrastructure experts and engineers about what is needed to avoid the flooding situation from occurring again.
We also then learned of potential Hazard Mitigation Grant funding opportunities and the required evaluation by an engineer was started. Cook, Coggin Engineers were procured and the report states: “The Preliminary Assessment indicates installation of flood control pumps with backup generators in Mound Bayou will significantly mitigate flooding in the community. Current flood pumps are inoperable, missing or completely non-functional, which often leaves the community at the mercy of rising water conditions. The pump stations, aged and poorly maintained for years, are not functional and currently serve no purpose in mitigating flooding almost every time there is a heavy deluge of rain. The repetitive flooding was a serious problem for all flood control pumps and caused increasingly more and more loss of property and citizen relocation as late as June, 2021. When flooding hits the City of Mound Bayou, the floodwaters have always won. Street elevation evaluation and inoperable and insufficient flood control pumps with backup are needed. The preliminary assessment also indicates a need for a more comprehensive survey including determination of the force main sewer line. The necessary upgrade will simplify the operations of the flood control stations. Assessment of road elevation to support the installed flood control pumps is also needed. The replacement of the old storm sewer pumps and the installation of additional flood control pumps will increase the operational capacity. Additionally, backup generators would allow the pumping stations to operate independently, if necessary.”
In a nutshell this means that the entire water pump system in Mound Bayou must be replaced. For years it has been repeatedly repaired. The system is so deteriorated at this point, it cannot properly function. The required letter of intent to apply for the Hazard Mitigation and BRIC grant was submitted on November 23, 2021 and I have attended numerous meetings and consultations with engineers about the needs and where the funding can come from through December, 2021.
Per the evaluation, a rough estimate on the cost of replacing the flood control pumps in Mound Bayou is listed below. Please bear in mind that this is just the estimated cost of the pumps, there are too many
variables to guess at, contractor installation costs, additional components needed, etc … MLK Pump Station had three pump positions but currently there are only two there, a 60 hp and 15 hp, we assumed adding another 60 hp
in the vacant space- $90,000 for the three pumps. North Edward had three pump positions but currently only 2 pumps there, a 150 hp and a 15hp; we assumed adding another 150 hp pump in the vacant
space-$140,000 for the three pumps.
The Engineering Firm will be at the February 1st meeting of Mayor & Board of Aldermen to explain this further.
We are not eligible for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which has previously been relied upon. The City of Mound Bayou has a current grant approved in 2021 during the prior administration for
sewage pumps in the Daniels Quarters area. We will not be eligible for another CDBG grant until the sewage pump project in Daniels Quarters is completed. The required bidding process is underway and we will work to assure that progress will be made to benefit the City.
Focusing on our Future Your Support Is Needed As We Work To:
1} Maximize the best possible quality of life for residents currently
2} Obtain a City Audit (The last City audit was completed in 2014)
3} Determine more precisely the infrastructure (flood pump system} needed
4) Identify potential funding sources to address this major infrastructure need
5} Create and Develop ways we can help our historic City sustain. We also work on Historic Preservation funding/grants.
While we work diligently to benefit the City of Mound Bayou, I am often made aware of individual needs and I take them seriously and appreciate your sharing. We must, however, work together and make collective and objective decisions to show support as we focus on the future. I encourage citizens to begin the year by making the sacrifice to attend meetings, listen intently and understand the key points needed for our future growth.
YOUR POSITIVE SUPPORT IS NEEDED NOW AND IN THE FUTURE!