Ferriday has reason to give thanks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ferriday residents will soon have 6,200,000 reasons to cheer.

A grant from the United States Department of Agriculture will provide $6.2 million for the construction of a new water plant for the financially beleaguered town.

More than 22 years since the town’s existing water plant, which pulls water from Old River was first put into action, the town’s most basic resource has been an almost constant worry.

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Months and months of living under boil-water notices, lawsuits and having the Louisiana National Guard truck water in as if it were at a scene of a natural disaster, may soon be over.

The federal money is slated to build a new water plant, and one with a key difference than the old one. Rather than tapping Old River as its water source, the new plant will drill a deep well which should help eliminate at least the first line of problems the existing plant has endured.

While the USDA has given Ferriday a second chance, the town owes it to the federal government not to blow it.

The water system’s ridiculous practices of operating with broken meters and having no way to ensure water system users actually pay their bills must end with the new plant.

The second chance is great, but if people don’t see Ferriday’s leadership and residents pick themselves up and start making their own way, it’s likely no “third chance” will ever exist, if it ever becomes necessary.

But for now, residents need to be thankful for the grant and decide that they intend to make things right this time around.