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Ferriday OKs money for sewer fix

FERRIDAY — The Ferriday Board of Alderman voted Tuesday evening to spend $47,000 to repair a sewer issue town officials deemed a health hazard.

Mayor Gene Allen told the board during its regular monthly meeting that 755 feet of 12-inch pipe needed to be replaced in a sewer line near Lancaster and Iowa avenues.

“This is beyond a griping situation where people are complaining about the smell — this is work that has to be done,” Allen said. “We’re going to find out if there is emergency money available from the state to apply for this, but for health reasons we have to get it done now.”

Allen said roots growing under the pipe made their way into the sewer line and caused some issues.

Iowa Avenue resident Henry Boxley told board members at the meeting the smell of the sewage in the line seeps out throughout the entire neighborhood.

“By 6 in the afternoon, no one can go outside,” Boxley said. “Those mosquitos are so bad, you don’t know what they got if they sting you.”

Boxley said after the meeting the sewage issue at his house is something he’s been dealing with for nearly 10 years, but the situation worsened three weeks ago when the roots entered the line and collapsed the sewer system.

“It has to be fixed,” Boxley said. “It was tolerable before and would get real bad when it rained, but now it’s bad all the time.”

The board approved a bid from Jabar Repair of Calhoun, La., for $47,000 to fix the sewer issue.

“This is nothing we’ve neglected to work on or something that’s laying dormant — it’s something we’re working on,” Allen said. “We’re trying to make sure we alleviate the problem.”

In other news from the meeting:

Allen will meet Thursday with aldermen Elijah “Stepper” Banks and Johnnie Brown to discuss a garbage plan Banks believes can save the town nearly $2,000 a month.

Delta Disposal handles the town’s garbage pickup, but that contract expires in December.

The company was awarded a one-year contract in February after its previous provider, Waste Management, suspended garbage pickup after the city failed to pay a $200,000 garbage bill.

Allen said the town is currently paying Waste Management $7,500 a month for its past-due bills.

Banks’ plan included figures for a 2014 garbage truck, 1,500, 95-galloon garbage bins, as well as salaries for employees to drive the truck and collect garbage.

Brown asked the board to take the plan under review until the board’s December meeting to examine the financial details.

The board approved a $350 one-time pay supplement to all town employees, except the mayor.

The supplement, Allen said, is done annually around the holidays.