Firm to commence work on project soon
By Jack Criss
The Bolivar Bullet
Cook Coggins Engineers, Inc., a 75-year old company based in Tupelo, will soon be installing a new aerator in Mound Bayou’s wastewater system as part of the completion of a project that began in 2019.
Cade Scroggins, Engineer Intern with Cook Coggins Engineers, explained that the firm had been hired by the City of Mound Bayou to perform such work. “Any city can request engineering services from various firms and, by the same token, firms can put in requests to be a certain city’s engineer. We had done some work around Mound Bayou and, because of that, we were chosen to perform work and services for their city, as well.”
As for the new work in Mound Bayou, Scroggins said that his firm had previously installed, in 2019, two groups of aerators in the town’s lagoon–which introduces air into the wastewater–but three were originally intended to be put in place. “The way the costs worked out back then, we couldn’t afford to put all three groups in–the Mississippi Development Authority only allowed us to install the two–but with the intent of putting the third in place at a later date. Which is what we’ll be doing now.
“We took bids in mid-July for the project, having to re-advertise for it as required by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG),” continued Scroggins, “which is where the funding is coming from. $350,000 in total was set out for the Mound Bayou job through the CDBG. More bidding for contractors will take place in August,” continued Scroggins, “and then Mound Bayou will award the job to that firm. Construction usually starts about a month after the contractor is hired.”
As far as a timeline for completion of the Mound Bayou project, Scroggins said that supply chain issues have made it difficult to make any predictions. “We’ve got plenty of workers, but a pretty dire shortage of needed materials like electrical products and piping,” he said. “So U hesitate to try and provide a specific completion date.”
Scroggins said that Cook Coggins lists as one of its specialties work for cities and municipalities, specializing mainly in water and waste water treatment. “But we wear a lot of hats,” he said. “We also do contract work for the state to design and work on bridges and roads for the towns we already work for. Our firm is the county engineer for nine counties in north Mississippi and also works with, besides Mound Bayou, Friars Point, Marks, Sledge, Vaiden, Crenshaw and several other towns and locations. We also just recently acquired an office in the Delta that will be confirmed and opening soon,” added Scroggins.
Scroggins and some other members of the firm visited Mound Bayou last week and met with Mayor Leighton Aldridge and other city officials to get and give updates and introduce a new Cook Coggins employee, Nancy McKee, to those on hand. “Nancy replaced the recently retired James Woodall who had been with us for years and was, essentially, our Delta liaison,” said Scroggins.