Wastewater contract could rise

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – City workers got a cost-of-living increase this year, and so, too, could private contractors who run Tupelo’s massive wastewater treatment plan.
The city will consider a 3-5 percent increase on its roughly $1.4 million annual contract with ESG Operations. The Macon, Ga.-based company staffs several employees at the Tupelo plant who oversee its daily functioning and help the city comply with evolving regulations.
They treat about 8 million gallons of water per day.
According to its contract, ESG can request increases annually and has wanted one for several years, said Tupelo Water & Light Manager Johnny Timmons.
“They haven’t had an increase since 2008, and I basically bayed them off because of the recession and the time we’re in,” Timmons said. “But they’ve had medical increases in their insurance, they’ve had fuel increases over the years, and they would like to give their employees a raise.”
A 3 percent bump would raise the city’s contractual payments by $43,000 per year. At 5 percent, it’d go up by $73,000. Taxpayers won’t foot the bills, though. It’d be absorbed internally at TW&L.
The matter could appear on the City Council agenda next week, but leaders likely won’t vote on it until January.
ESG has had a contract with Tupelo since January 2005.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com