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Ferriday, Vidalia projects begin building phase

FERRIDAY — As the end of March approaches, so does the timeline for proposals for two major projects in Concordia Parish.

Parish leaders hope to know soon who will operate the Ferriday water system and who will construct the new Vidalia Recreation Complex.

Ferriday town engineer Bryant Hammett said while four entities picked up requests for proposals to operate the town’s water system, only one responded by the March 24 deadline, JCP Management in Harrisonburg.

The proposal will be for the company that will manage the water plant as a third party.

“We did everything we could do within reason to get qualified people interested in providing this service,” he said. “We are very hopeful we will be able to work out details and move forward with the project.”

Hammett said selecting a committee to review the proposals and make any recommendations that are deemed necessary is the next step in the process for Ferriday.

Since there is only one proposal, Hammett said if the committee does not accept it, the search for the third party company will start over.

“If an agreement can’t be reached, we will have to start again at square one,” he said.

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said once the committee is selected and a company is selected to oversee the plant, construction can begin.

“We would be able to start on the design and drilling some of the test wells,” he said. “We have been waiting on this for a long time.”

McGlothin said he just received the preliminary timeline for the new water plant, and the plant is projected to be completed by June 2012.

“It’s just one of those good things that is happeninig in Ferriday,” he said. “(The year) 2012 is looking to be a great year.”

Concordia Recreation District No. 3 Board of Directors Chairman Marc Archer said Vidalia will receive the sealed bids on Thursday and a decision on who will construct the new recreation complex should be ready by Friday.

Archer said since the bids are sealed, he does not know how many the city has currently received.

“We did have a pre-bid conference last week, and there were a lot more contractors in attendance than we expected,” he said. “That is a pretty good sign.”

Archer said the projected $5.3 million complex will feature 12 tennis courts, four baseball fields, four softball fields, basketball courts, soccer fields and a number of other features.

Once the bid is awarded at 2 p.m. Thursday, Archer said Vidalia can finally move forward and break ground on the new complex.

“This is something we have been working on for five years since we came up with the concept,” he said. “Everything is pretty much lined up once we get the bid accepted, and we are ready for that.”

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