Corinth plugs away at drainage issues

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Corinth is looking to get maximum bang for its buck as it plans for more work on revived drainage canals.
Last week city officials walked around some of the proposed work sites and will meet this week with the company that performed some work clearing growth along banks of the drainage ditches.
“We’re putting together a pretty aggressive plan, but we’re still looking for money because the needs are great and we have limited funds right now,” Mayor Tommy Irwin said. “We’ve done some work on Elam Creek since the first of the year that has paid off. As long as I’m here, that’s a top priority.”
The effort is getting a boost from Kansas City-Southern Railway.
The company last week cleared off creek banks that parallel its tracks at Linden Street, continuing about 100 yards north with city equipment following behind to clear up some of the smaller brush, Street Commissioner Jim Bynum said.
Officials with the Elam Creek, Phillips Creek and Bridge Creek drainage districts also are requesting a federal appropriation, applying for a community development block grant and asking for assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Devastating floods throughout Corinth and Alcorn County on May 2, 2010, led to loss of life, months of business closures and a federal disaster declaration for the county.
Less than a year later, on April 27, some of the same areas endured less extensive flooding and limited business closings.
The city had $100,000 in this fiscal year’s budget to begin working to clear banks along stretches of the reactivated drainage districts and accepted Asplundh as the contractor for the work.
Unfortunately, the company didn’t work steadily until it completed the project, but instead worked in fits and starts, leaving debris behind that again washed into the creeks.
“This second go-around we need the T’s crossed and I’s dotted so they stay with the project,” Irwin said. “The former agreement wasn’t real binding, but this one there will be no doubt what we’re expecting.”
Once an outside contractor gets the areas in a manageable condition, the city will be able to maintain them, said Billy Glover, sewer department manager.
“They have to start off doing some heavy work with equipment the city doesn’t have,” Glover said. “What we’re looking at in the future is perhaps having a crew full-time, with some prison help maybe, who could take a couple of work crews to cut ditch banks.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com