Carl Nicholson, the city's outside accountant with Nicholson and Associates, became extremely agitated when he was questioned in the hallway of city hall regarding statements he made before council. Nicholson, whose fiduciary duty is to the city of Hattiesburg, was originally there to discuss the annual audit of the City of Hattiesburg, but the conversation bled over into the the city's waste water issues as the city's bond rating discussion was underway.
Nicholson advised council that he spoke with a top level EPA official who stated the city of Hattiesburg and other South Mississippi cities would not be able to discharge treated waste water into the river beyond 2020. This would leave land application as the only long term solution. If true, the EPA official who told him this needs to be revealed for contradicting their official position, and if it isn't true, there could very well be serious breach of fiduciary responsibility on the part of Mr. Nicholson. The matter should be investigated by the FBI since it was said an EPA official who allegedly made these ridiculous remarks to Mr. Nicholson.
Regardless of what Nicholson was told or not told by this nameless EPA official, the comments are in complete contradiction with what MDEQ and EPA have stated on the record. Those agencies have approved the Bardenpho method for treating waste in our current lagoon system. This method would eliminate the smell in our lagoon and could be paid for with the savings in electricity from the current, broken system. The cost of this solution is minuscule when compared to Groundworx, and ratepayers would seen little if any rate increases. If Groundworx is implemented city sewer bills will increase $40 - $60 per month per household.
This city is being sued by Groundworx, and Nicholson's public comments on the matter will likely not benefit the city's interests, and they could quite possible harm the interest of Hattiesburg residents in Groundworx litigation.
After he spoke he was questioned in the hallway about the name of the EPA official. Nicholson refused to provide the name. When he was challenged that MDEQ and EPA reports contradicted his statements, he became upset and physically threatened the reporter. Video is below. #greedworx