Parish passes water ordinance

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 12, 2011

VIDALIA — Residents of Concordia Parish can be assured that their drinking water is safe, since the police jury passed an ordinance to protect it.

Tiffani Cravens, a geologist with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, was at the meeting to encourage the jury to pass the ordinance. Cravens said ground water in the parish is susceptible to contamination and few, if any, federal or state regulations prevent contamination.

“Drinking water is very difficult to clean up if it’s contaminated,” Cravens said. “This ordinance is a model. You can alter to fit the needs of the parish.”

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The water protection ordinance will limit businesses from locating within 1,000 feet of a well. Cravens said special permits can be granted, but with those exceptions come stricter environmental safety measures and regulations.

Concordia Parish Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington agreed that the ordinance should be passed.

“If we don’t protect what we’ve got now, we will have problems in the future,” Ferrington said.

Cravens said it is preferable to keep the ordinance as-is. The jury decided to adopt the ordinance and amend the penalties for violations listed within.

Also at the bi-weekly meeting, Oliver Schulz of Oliver Schulz and Associates and engineering services presented redistricting maps showing jury members where each ward and precinct will be. The redistricting will affect polling locations in the parish, and jury members said some voters might be inconvenienced by the changes.

The final decision on the acceptance of new maps has been postponed, and will be discussed again at the April 25 meeting. Ferrington said he hopes the jury will approve the maps then.

It was announced that Lake Concordia residents are invited to attend an open session concerning lake water levels at the next police jury meeting April 25. Representatives from the Lake Advisory Committee will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns of lake residents.

Proposals for a new air conditioning unit at the parish barn were opened to bids. The Courthouse Committee will review the bids, discuss them and approve the best bid at their discretion, Ferrington said.

In other business:

4Lane Dale was reappointed to the Board of Recreation District No. 2.

4The occupational license for a new business in Vidalia, Nicki’s Notions, was approved.

4A farmer requested that the jury not opt to close Tillman Road

4A public hearing to adopt a resolution opposing state cuts to the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program will be 11 a.m., April 21.