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Ferriday takes no action on water, garbage rates

Published 12:02am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

FERRIDAY — The Ferriday Board of Aldermen failed to take action on a $6 water increase and a $10 garbage increase at its Tuesday meeting. Mayor Gene Allen proposed the water increase in July as an effort to help pay for an overhaul to the city’s water system.

The town received a $5 million grant and $1.2 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to switch the town’s water supply from Old River to groundwater wells, replacing outdated and non-functioning water meters and fixing broken pipes in the water distribution system.

Allen said the town couldn’t repay the loan without the increase in water rates.

Ferriday residents packed Town Hall to express opinions against raising rates.

Ferriday resident Dorothy Anderson said she strongly opposed the bill because of the quality of the water.

“I just don’t have enough money to pay for it,” Anderson said. “Sometimes it is crystal clear, but other times it smells like sewage. I am not going to pay for an increase in the water if we are going to keep dirty water.”

Instead of raising rates, Alderman Johnnie Brown proposed postponing a vote until the city installed water meters.

The motion failed with only Brown and Alderman Johnnie Banks in favor.

The board also decided not to raise garbage rates.

The increase in garbage rates would have added a second pickup day to the town’s garbage collection schedule.

In other news from the meeting:

-The board approved its 2013-2014 fiscal year budget. The budget includes a projected $2.28 million in revenue and $2 million in expenditures.

The budget is the same one passed during the board’s June meeting, but had to be reapproved due to a legal issue. The board failed to advertise the budget the correct amount of times prior to the June meeting.

-The board announced its intention to lease the former Kelly Kids building on Louisiana 15 in the town’s industrial park to Neimaj Footwear and Apparel.

The town won’t charge the company for rent as long as Neimaj provides an adequate number of jobs. The lease requires the company to provide 10 jobs initially and 50 jobs by year five of its operations.