Town to advertise for meter bids

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FERRIDAY — The Town of Ferriday is one step closer toward ending a more than 20-year battle with their water and sewage system.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Ferriday’s request Feb. 8 to advertise for bids from contractors to install the town’s new water meters and to build the town’s new sewage plant.

“This is some really good news,” Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said. “It is really a wonderful thing, the help we are getting from the USDA. We really appreciate it.”

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McGlothin said the contract has been advertised approximately two weeks, and has to be advertised for 30 days before the town can make its decision on who to pick for the construction.

“We have had about three or four bids for it so far, but the more the merrier,” he said. “Maybe we can find a gem out there.”

McGlothin said the first step after selecting the bid and getting the USDA’s approval on that bid would involve replacing every water meter in the town with a whole new system.

McGlothin said there were previous reports stating that approximately 40 to 50 percent of the towns meters weren’t reading correctly, but a study done by the Louisiana Rural Water Association revealed that number to be closer to 70 percent.

“We have really been biting the bullet for the past two and a half years with these meters not reading correctly,” he said. “That is why we are in a bind. These new meters are sorely needed.”

McGlothin said the approximate $1.8 million cost of the meters will help Ferriday in a big way.

“We have been on the same system for many years and this will finally take us into the 21st century,” he said. “All the meters will be read using a GPS. They will all be computer read, which will cut down on cost and time.”

Due to the location of many of the meters in Ferriday, McGlothin said the current meter system is inefficient.

“Whoever gets this work is going to have a job in front of them,” he said.

“There will be a lot of restructuring involved.”

McGlothin said once the meters are installed, groundwork on the new sewage plant in Ferriday can begin.

“Once all the meters are put in we can start drilling test lines and working on the construction of the plant,” he said.

McGlothin said while the progress had been slow, at least some work is being done to help solve Ferriday’s water situation.

“We are one step closer than we were a year ago,” he said.