New Admin Building for DHWSD – $3.4 million

Home Forums Diamondhead Government Diamondhead Water & Sewer District New Admin Building for DHWSD – $3.4 million

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  • #8137

    benmike60
    Member

    Information below is provided by Paul Montjoy. Feel free to forward this.
    NEW ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES FOR DIAMONDHEAD WATER
    AND SEWER DISTRICT
    Bids for a new 17,000 sq.ft administrative office complex for the Diamondhead Water and Sewer District (DW&SD) are to be received on August 26, 2014. The budget is $3,400,000.
    What can be the possible justification for spending so much of the Diamondhead citizens’ money? Other utility systems on the coast, e.g. Long beach, with twice the number of accounts, handle administrative functions in approximately 500 sq.ft, with three (3) people. Space exists in City Hall to more conveniently handle the administration functions at no additional costs to Diamondhead citizens. The $3.4 million dollar expenditure does not improve water quality or supply nor does it create capacity or a more effective sewer treatment system.

    If these are not adequate reasons not to spend this money, consider how much more difficult it will be to integrate the DW&SD into the City in the future. Further, the proposed building site is in the middle of the only viable acreage that could, in a better economy, be the site of a major commercial development for the City of Diamondhead.

    It is understood the DW&SD has been planning this expenditure for many years and collecting apparently inflated monthly fees and connection fees to create a reserve for this work. The fact that DW&SD can afford such an expenditure is not a justification.

    The DW&SD is under the authority of a board appointed by the Hancock Board of Supervisors. The board members are:
    Charles Johnson, Jr., chairman, 228-255-0044
    Michael Schaefer 228-255-7884
    Darrell Gremillion 228-586-2282
    Karen Sites 228-255-5360
    Shane Finley 228-255-5771
    Once appointed, this board is answerable to no one – Diamondhead voters, property owners, city administration, county administration or the State of Mississippi. If this use of your money upsets you, call the DW&SD board members and your county supervisor @ (228) 467-0172 to voice your opinion.

    The citizens and property owners of Diamondhead own the City, the POA, the Fire Department and the Diamondhead Sewer and Water District. We must eliminate new overhead expenditures and work to integrate services for our citizens.

    Prepared by Paul Montjoy for the information of interested Diamondhead citizens.

    #8136

    vsimons
    Participant

    FYI: INTERESTING DH HISTORY YOU CAN FIND ON DNOL:
    “THE INFAMOUS WATER COMPANY DEAL”— (worth reviewing)

    DNOL EDITOR: Voice from the Past:

    Editor
    Posted 2004-01-11 2:41 PM (#138 – in reply to #137)
    Subject: RE: Diamondhead as a Municipal Corporation

    “… Few know the true story of the INFAMOUS WATER COMPANY DEAL. The reason being is that the entire debacle is totally unbelievable. It is time that this episode be once and finally told to the community using facts based in truth, forever exposing the individual who really is responsible for our absurdly high water bills. It isn’t who you may think.

    The Diamondhead POA board of directors was offered the water and sewage utility back in the mid-80s by the developer, the now Purcell Corporation who owned Diamondhead Utilities. The treasurer at that time took it upon himself to “study” the offer. His report to the board resulted in that board rejecting Purcell’s offer. Subsequently the water and sewage utilities were sold for the same $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars) it had offered to the POA to a private individual, Peter J. Casano, who was later elected to the office of POA president. The reason given for the rejection was that the POA would have to pay for the completion and upgrade of the utility. The irony is that virtually every resident member of the POA has wound up paying and is still paying three times over the cost of the upgrade mandated by the EPA. The good colonel’s folly also is believed to have funded the developer out of bankruptcy.

    Some individuals realized that a huge mistake was made by this former Army colonel turned POA treasurer. An attempt was then made to get Mr. Casano to sell to the community what could have been theirs all along, the water and sewer utility. The Diamondhead Water and Sewage District was born. In their haste and ultimate stupidity, they bought the sewage utility without the water. They then tried to get people to pay for sewage service without the threat of water service termination. Sort of like buying the shaft without the gold mine or more precisely buying the wrong orifice of the goose that lays golden eggs. Most people soon figured out that the new “District” was a paper tiger and simply ignored the bill. The “District” then found itself in a real conundrum, the sewage plant is what the EPA was concerned with, but without the water they couldn’t get the funds to make the necessary upgrade.

    Mr. Casano then “graciously” sold the desperate District supervisors the goose that lays the eggs, the water utility. Of course, being a businessman Mr. Casano expected a profit, try a 3.3 million dollars paid over 15 years.

    That’s right $3,319,547.70 over 15 years paid to him by the residents of Diamondhead for a $1,000 investment.

    And on top of that the community had to pay for the EPA upgrades anyway.

    The simple fact of the matter is that municipal incorporation of Diamondhead would change none of this. Mr. Casano will still get his monthly check from the “District”. The infrastructure will still need major improvements and our water utility bills will remain the highest in the south….”

    (NOTE: This was written by the DNOL Editor back BEFORE the POA-created City Incorporation occurred.)

    WHO was on the POA Board back then? WHO was POA General Manager?
    I wasn’t here then. Maybe the POA can tell us….

    #8140

    BeauB
    Participant

    What can we do now? This needs to e the next group on the list after the POA. They have indeed cost us business in this community but Simons post clearly shows how POA and water district and fire district work hand in hand to keep diamondhead in the hands of and for the benefit of an elite few. Time to rid ourselves of all of them for our sakes and our children’s sakes.

    #8143

    jjsmith
    Member

    The DHD S&W District was created by the county and state governments. Tell your local senator and representative and the board of supervisors that if they don’t step in and either have the district given to the city, dissolved or remove the district board members that you will support with votes and money whomever runs against them in the next election. Then you’ll see some action.

    #8144

    BeauB
    Participant

    Nice

    #8147

    KenFromDMHD
    Participant

    Little TitBit … The DWSD was created to take the Water/Sewer Utility ( Diamondhead Utilities ) via Eminent Domain. It was created by a group called the Diamopndhead Water and Sewer Improvement Committee or Group which was founded by Dan Smith. ( not the relator Dan Smith ) Meetings were held at Moloki Village in the 1988 and 1989 time frame. It was not created by county and state governments. Purcell fought the creation of the District. The hearing to create the Diamondhead Water And Sewer District was the largest gathering in Hancock County History back in 1990 I believe. For some strange reason the initial board members opted to pursue Purcell interests and NOT to pursue the eminent domain mandate. Dan Smith the founder and 1st President quit the organization that he founded. …

    #8148

    KenFromDMHD
    Participant

    If you will do a little research, you will find that the DWSD is in receipt of a large FEMA Grant. They are simply trying blow the money. The plant supposedly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina is somehow still working. Also interesting the DWSD is still charging KatrinaSlabOwners a $25/month fee although there is no meter or water/sewer usage. Yes we could use a little help from the Legislators. The law needs to be changed where these monstrosities are funded by millage and minimal usage fee’s. The should not be allowed to charge fee’s without rendering any services.

    #8517

    MCO
    Member

    suggestion: if FEMA is providing money for this project, call FEMA and report that Diamondhead Water and Sewer District is being offered a free work space by the city of Diamondhead and FEMA money (taxpayers dollars) should not be used for this unnecessary building. Go to the FEMA website below “Help FEMA prevent Fraud, Waste and Abuse”. Here you will find the whistleblower phone number, and email and mailing address of the DHS Office of the Inspector General
    http://www.fema.gov/employee-information-resource-center/help-fema-prevent-fraud-waste-and-abuse

    #8519

    IrishPat
    Member

    I don’t know all the specifics because we’re relatively new to the gulf coast but I’ll say that all cities lobby for and try to get Fed money for projects.
    We wouldn’t be the first. Correct me if I’m off here but I think between the bridge and the small city BSL received well over $167 million of FEMA money maybe more.
    Waveland the city that may never come back from Katrina takes advantage of any FEMA grants it can get.
    I think I maybe missing something here.
    If this project actually is in fact covered under a FEMA grant then why would P Montjoy send out that email to rally against it?
    Why the letters to the Sun Herald against it as well as the petitions fighting it?
    It’s hard to get the straight facts with all the different boards and the groups and special interests involved.
    Thought I read or heard that this project was dead anyway.

    #8525

    vsimons
    Participant

    INMO, the sudden burst of interest, especially by POA Old Guard types, in the DWSD project is in part DIVERSIONARY TACTICS to focus citizens’ attention away from the “TAJ MAHAL” spending projects of the CITY and the POA and toward another agency. The POA-created CITY just “bought” a $1.2 million “City Hall” with way too much space and several problems that will require additional significant amounts of future funding (HVAC system, foundation, etc.). And it seems the POA’s own planned TAJ MAHAL spending STILL includes all the Kyger mega-projects: CAPITAL EXPENDITURES that Kyger-endorsees on the Board and the vocal Old Guard gang insist “were already voted on,” such as the $650,000+ East Rec Tennis Clubhouse & Grill, the $200,000 per year for 10 years plan to dredge Purcell’s canals, the extensive Country Club renovation plans, the ongoing $250,000 per year golf course improvements, and the HMS (Management Company) contract with its “bonuses” or “incentives” in addition to the monthly fees. Look in your own mirror, POA Board members, and take care of POA business first. Remember your election promises: At least 6 of the 8 NEW POA Board winning candidates, including one Kyger-endorsee, specifically espoused “cut dues” or “reduce dues”. Another winner said “cut budget” and the other Kyger-endorsee said “budget conscious decisions, cost control, manage POA dues…” That adds up to ALL 8 of the NEW Board members. The 3 old “holdover” Board members, including Kyger himself, can be out-voted IF the newly elected ones do what they said during the election campaign. However, so far, the meetings of the new Board are dominated by extremely vocal Old Guard types who seem to have intimidated some new Board members.
    It’s SO easy to spend other people’s money…

    #8577

    IrishPat
    Member

    vsimons – 2014-09-18 9:59 AM

    INMO, the sudden burst of interest, especially by POA Old Guard types, in the DWSD project is in part DIVERSIONARY TACTICS to focus citizens’ attention away from the “TAJ MAHAL” spending projects of the CITY and the POA and toward another agency. The POA-created CITY just “bought” a $1.2 million “City Hall” with way too much space and several problems that will require additional significant amounts of future funding (HVAC system, foundation, etc.). And it seems the POA’s own planned TAJ MAHAL spending STILL includes all the Kyger mega-projects: CAPITAL EXPENDITURES that Kyger-endorsees on the Board and the vocal Old Guard gang insist “were already voted on,” such as the $650,000+ East Rec Tennis Clubhouse & Grill, the $200,000 per year for 10 years plan to dredge Purcell’s canals, the extensive Country Club renovation plans, the ongoing $250,000 per year golf course improvements, and the HMS (Management Company) contract with its “bonuses” or “incentives” in addition to the monthly fees. Look in your own mirror, POA Board members, and take care of POA business first. Remember your election promises: At least 6 of the 8 NEW POA Board winning candidates, including one Kyger-endorsee, specifically espoused “cut dues” or “reduce dues”. Another winner said “cut budget” and the other Kyger-endorsee said “budget conscious decisions, cost control, manage POA dues…” That adds up to ALL 8 of the NEW Board members. The 3 old “holdover” Board members, including Kyger himself, . However, so far, the meetings of the new Board are dominated by extremely vocal Old Guard types who seem to have intimidated some new Board members.
    It’s SO easy to spend other people’s money…

    Exactly. I had wondered why certain poa directors were fighting hard against a project that appeared to be fema grant funded. It’s true, the project has nothing to do with what the poa directors should be focused on – cutting the fat to reduce dues.
    You are well informed v. I’d like to see the new board members do what they said during the campaign; have more openness in general. Would also like to see this new poa board of directors out-vote the old guard and the old guard’s unneeded costly projects.
    The will of the people is getting lost because between the DPOA and the city we now have too many levels of enforcement-authority-governance to answer to. The POA board with all it’s secrecy should be phased out. Having an entity bound by Freedom of Information Act to provide data when requested seems a lot better than a small group of people having closed door meetings about what they’re doing to waste citizens money.

    #8579

    Editor
    Moderator

    The Freedom of Information Act is a federal law. It does not apply to any city government in the United States, only federal agencies.

    #8580

    vsimons
    Participant

    ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS, ER, “LETTER-WRITERS”?

    Here’s another opportunity for another batch of urgent dispatches from the usual “Letter-Writers” to DIVERT ATTENTION away from POA EXCESSIVE SPENDING:

    DIAMONDHEAD FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT NOTICE TO BIDDERS:
    Sealed Bids for the construction of a new building to serve as Fire Station #1 will be received by the Diamondhead Fire Protection District until 4:00pm (CST) on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Properly submitted Bids will be opened and recorded by the Fire District’s Board of Commissioners during their regular monthly meeting, scheduled for 9:00am on Thursday, October 16, 2014. A Performance Bond is required, and all Bidders must provide proof of liability insurance coverage of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00). The Diamondhead Fire Protection District reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Project Information may be obtained from: Fire Chief Jerry Dubuisson, Diamondhead Fire Department, 4440 Kalani Drive, Diamondhead, Mississippi 39525, Phone: 228-255-1314.
    ADV20,27,4,3SAT 154619/
    http://www.sunherald.com/classified-ads/ad/2733383

    #8581

    rohboat
    Participant

    Mr. Nensley despicable letter is a mixture if disingenuous twisted logic and at some point through implication involves outright lying. This letter is the culmination of a campaign by a confrontational group within the city administration to outshout any activity emanating from the general population. I also must add just why is the staff at the Sun Herald so anxious to print these letter?
    The truth is Hensley is and has been for some time the root cause of much turmoil in Diamondhead. He obviously has an agenda that he views as being beyond reproach and should be unquestionably followed exactly as he demands.
    Mr. Hensley please explain:
    1. Just how are cost increased by questioning the acquisition of a overly large expensive building for a small community civic operation. Many people think that it is your group that is engaging in economic folly. In fact some have begun to wonder if there was some economic advantage for some who have pushed so hard for this purchase and have been somewhat secretive about the conditions of the possible bank failure of the previous owners of the building
    2. You imply that these trouble makers are much in favor of the Water and Sewer District building an excessively large structure for their operation. In truth sir, it is you in concert with the chosen few who are using this foolishness to justify your own economic venture in acquiring the overly expensive church structure. The general population is in favor of a prudent economic budget with respect to this large expenditure.

    #8582

    vsimons
    Participant

    Rohboat,
    Disingenuous indeed: That particular letter, which also appeared in the Sea Coast Echo, hit a NEW LOW for the typical garbled hypocrisy used by our self-appointed ruling elite when they attempt to blame others and distract attention from the excessive spending habits of the POA-created City and the POA itself.

    Here’s the link to this latest urgent plea from the “WE know what’s best for YOU” group:
    http://www.sunherald.com/2014/09/23/5816124/jack-hensley-stop-the-turmoil.html

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