Water systems get funding

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Carolyn Roy | News Editor

Four parish water systems will get major upgrades through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan funding. During a Parish Council meeting Monday, the members approved a budget amendment that will direct $1.75 million to those water systems’ improvements. The amendment includes $100,000 for the Sabine Waterworks District No. 1 that includes the former Marthaville Water District; $128,000 for the Chestnut-Readhimer Water System; $320,000 for the Creston Water System; and $446,000 for the Sandy Point 480 Water System. Those amounts total $994,000.

This article published in the Sept. 23, 2021, print edition

The $1.75 million also includes money for potential requests from other water/sewer providers. The money is from federal funds and none is from the Parish Government General Fund. According to the National League of Cities website, eligible projects for the ARP funds include construction, improvement and repair of wastewater treatment plants; controlling non-point sources of pollution; improving resilience of infrastructure to severe weather events; creating green infrastructure; managing and treating storm water or subsurface drainage water; facilitating water reuse; and protecting water bodies from pollution.  The council approved four reappointments and two appointments to boards. They included:

•Reappointment of Ralph Hernandez to Fire District #5 Board

•Reappointment of Ted Duggan to Water Works District No. 2 Board

•Reappointment of Tracy Brown to Library Board of Control

•Reappointment of Laquita Collins to Housing Authority Board

•Appointment of Mario Fox replacing George Culpepper on Fire District 5 Board

•Appointment of Justin Martin replacing Dorle Hays on the Fire District No. 8 Board

In his report, Parish President John Richmond said drainage work continues on Fish Hatchery Road with new asphalt application nearing completion on the south end. Richmond said exterior painting is complete on the Live Oak Building and the Health Unit has a new roof. Good Samaritan Cooperative Endeavor Agreements reflect growing support and willingness of Parish residents to assist in the maintenance of Parish roads. The council approved CEAs with Earl Bynog for Emmanuel and Paul Bynog Roads; Coy Birdwell for McCaskill Cemetery and Joe Clouse Road; Monique Sarpy for J. Benjamin Road; Charles Shivers for Renee Street; and Jackie Colston for Dufrene Road. Residents buy the materials and the highway department spreads them.

The council approved several other agenda items that included:

•CEA with La. Dept. of Veterans Affairs for annual payment to local office

•Award RFP to Wilbanks Appraisal Co., to appraise property needed for two drainage servitudes for surfacing Fish Hatchery Road

•Authorized advertising for bids for materials and supplies for Highway and Solid Waste departments

•Authorized RFP for selecting firm for reapportionment/redistricting of Parish

•Approved selection of projects to submit for Capital Outlay funding by State; they include Harmony, Goldonna, Blanchard, Bayou Derbonne, Hart and Pardee Roads, asphalt portion of Collins Road, Robeline Provencal Road from Provencal to Old Victoria Road, Patrick Road, Church Road in Natchez, Cedar Bend/Riverview and Brickyard Roads.