OKTIBBEHA COUNTY — Supervisors on Tuesday reversed course on whether to allow Mississippi Engineering Group to submit a proposal for the cost of decommissioning Oktibbeha County Lake, opting to exclude the firm from the process.
It was the third time supervisors voted on the issue, dating back to June 6. Board president Bricklee Miller, who represents District 4, tried to correct the order that resulted from the initial vote because it did not exclude MEG, parent company of Pickering Engineering, from receiving a request for a proposal.
Her attempts to amend the order drew a failed public call from District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard for Miller to step down as board president but a successful vote to send RFQs to “any and all firms.”
The county has already agreed to pay MEG nearly $500,000 for design work related to repairing the dam, a project the firm estimated would cost the county at least $15 million to complete. Decommissioning the lake would presumably be a less expensive option.
On Tuesday, District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery moved again to exclude MEG from receiving an RFQ for decommissioning work, citing conflicts of interest.
“I would like to exclude Pickering from doing the decommissioning study,” he said. “Just to get all the answers out on the table and get a clear understanding of which direction we need to go. It’s just on the premise of conflict of interest. …We’re going in two different directions, I don’t want the same group doing that work.”
Montgomery’s motion received a second from District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams and passed 3-1 with Howard voting nay and District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer absent.