Parish receives $233,000

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 30, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; It’s a late Christmas present, but in the eyes of local officials in Concordia Parish, it’s better late than never.

Concordia Parish and its towns received $233,604 in grants earlier this week for everything from revitalization of downtown Ferriday to mosquito spraying trucks to swimming pool repairs.

Ferriday received $101,771 Community Development Block Grant to Ferriday to repair collapsed sewer lines.

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The town received $13,500 from the Louisiana Arts Council to pay for architect’s drawings for a downtown revitalization project proposed by Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin.

It also received $25,000 from the Governor’s Office of Rural Development for improvements to its water plant, including plant maintenance and, as required by law, the installation of a fence around the property.

In many cases, cash-strapped small towns cannot afford such improvements without such grants, said Ferriday Councilman Billy Rucker.

Take the water plant money, for example. &uot;If it weren’t for the grants we get, our water bills would be much higher, Š and nobody wants that,&uot; Rucker said.

Other awards announced Tuesday by state Reps. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday, and Lelon Kenney, D-Columbia, and state Sens. Noble Ellington, D-Winnsboro, included:

4$35,000 from Rural Development to the Concordia Parish Police Jury to repair a Recreation District No. 2 swimming pool.

4$18,335 from Rural Development to the Concordia Parish Police Jury to make runway improvements at the parish airport.

4$16,700 from Rural Development to buy a new ambulance for Vidalia.

4$8,300 from Rural Development for the renovation of buildings.

4$5,341 from Rural Development to Ridgecrest for water system improvements.

4$4,199 from Rural Development to the Ridgecrest to buy a mosquito spraying truck and a mower.

4$3,569 from Rural Development to replace the floor of the Ridgecrest Town Hall.

4$1,890 from Rural Development to Ridgecrest to pay for new Fire Department facilities.

The money &uot;helps us out a whole lot, because it doesn’t have to come out of our general fund,&uot; said Police Jury Secretary Russell Wagoner.

Regarding the swimming pool, Wagoner said, &uot;the Recreation District (No. 2) doesn’t have the money to spend on repairing it, but its only other option was the close the pool entirely.&uot;

&uot;We’re appreciative of this money and fortunate to get it, especially in such troubled economic times for our community and state,&uot; said Ridgecrest Mayor Guy Lain.