Ferriday water tank deteriorating

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ferriday’s water tank is in serious need of repair, the water supervisor told aldermen Tuesday night.

The latest update came just weeks after the closure of a lawsuit spurred by a 1999 boil water order.

“The tank is deteriorating severely,” supervisor Gregory Griggs said. “If that tank caves in, we won’t have a boil order — there won’t be anything to boil.”

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Rodney Davis, vice president of Triton Water, presented a proposal for renovating the city’s water system, including a new tank, meters and treatment system.

Allen instructed the board to review the proposal. He also suggested the board meet again before next month’s meeting to discuss the issue.

Most important, several board members said, was the topic of the water tank.

Allen agreed and suggested the aldermen request emergency bids for a new water tank, which the board approved.

“We’re going to have to do something with that tank now,” Allen said. “This is not a ‘later’ thing.”

In other business, Ferriday Oil Seed will likely be expanding into the old Kelly Kids Building.

After much discussion, the board of aldermen voted 4-1 to give the town attorney authority to draw up a contract leasing the building to the company.

Alderman Johnnie Brown said he didn’t want to tie up a building with a company hiring six workers when another company who might hire 40 or 50 workers might be looking at it.

“I want to be very, very careful before we enter (into an agreement),” Brown said. “I want to make sure we have the town’s interest at heart.”

Mayor Gene Allen said Ferriday Oil Seed was the only company interested in the building at this time.

“When are we going to get someone in there hiring 50 people?” Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd said. “We need someone in there now.”

Concordia Parish Economic Development Director Teresa Dennis said she thought the company’s moving into the building was a good step in the right direction.

Other companies have looked at the building, she said, but since the building was built for the purpose of cutting and sewing, the ceilings were built too low for most industries.

“I have investigated alternatives for that building for 10 years,” Dennis said. “Every time it’s shown, it has too low a ceiling height.”

Alderman Jerome Harris said he wanted to make sure the company would hire free workers before it looked at convict labor.

“Obviously, if we can get free men, we will use them,” Ferriday Oil Seed representative Ronnie Goodman said.

The board instructed the town attorney to include that as a provision in the contract.

In other business:

4The board approved to add $5,800 to a previously acquired $15,000 state grant to purchase a police car.

4The board agreed to try to meet with or attend the chamber of commerce meetings.

4Myles Hopkins, CPA, of Switzer, Hopkins and Mange, presented the town’s audit for the fiscal year of July 2005 through June 2006.

He said the audit included several findings, including areas of town being under-billed for water.

Allen said that was a recurring problem and might be fixed with new meters.