Ground broken for upgrades to sewerage

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; This summer construction will begin in Concordia Parish on a new centralized public wastewater collection and treatment system that will serve more than 1,000 residents.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday at Concordia Parish Courthouse to kick off the sewerage project.

&uot;The new system will improve the old sewer treatment facility in Ridgecrest and add new collection lines and lift stations to serve more households,&uot; said Eddie Turner, chairman of Concordia Parish Sewerage District No. 1.

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The two-phase project will include Hammett and Green Acres subdivisions, Gooden Road at Thomas Road, Mimosa Road, U.S. 84, Persimmon Mill, Franklin Road and Ruby Road.

Other construction will include 31,000 feet of 8-inch gravity mains, 111 manholes, eight lift stations and 29,500 feet of service lines.

In all, more than 300 households will be connected.

&uot;Residents can expect to see improved services by May 2004,&uot; Turner said.

Turner also said he expects the project to decrease the number of mosquitoes in Concordia because wastewater will not be standing in ditches.

The project will improve quality of life and economic development in Concordia Parish, said Michael Taylor, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development.

&uot;It’s going to remove waste threats by providing a descent sanitary (collection) station,&uot; Taylor said.

&uot;Not only will this make a difference to the people already living in Concordia Parish, (but) the improved services will attract new residents and business to the area,&uot; he said.

The project will also increase property values, said state Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday.

Phase I of the sewerage project is being funded by more than $5.4 million in USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service loan and grant funds.

The Rural Utilities Service provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns with 10,000 or fewer people.

USDA Rural Development has invested an additional $5.8 million for Phase II of the project, which will bring sewerage service to an additional 253 residential and nine commercial users.

The USDA Rural Development has funded $32 million worth of projects in Concordia Parish, not including the sewerage project.