Ferriday needs gov’t help with plant

Published 12:05 am Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nine times out of 10, when the federal government gets involved in something, the something tends to get mired in bureaucracy and inefficiency.

It’s the nature of such large government entities. However, we’ve found an exception to that — the one out of 10 instances in which that’s not true is Ferriday’s water plant.

Just when we thought the town’s water woes might soon be a memory, the elected wizards on the town’s board of aldermen have begun to question the gift horse provided by a $6 million United State Department of Agriculture grant.

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You see, fools don’t run the USDA. They don’t want to fork out $6 million to Ferriday for the construction of a much-needed new water plant without some assurances that the town will properly operate and maintain the system.

A stipulation of the grant is that a qualified third party provider be contracted to operate the plant. Given the horrible history of poor water quality and maintenance of the town’s existing water system, we think that’s an excellent idea.

Of course, a few town aldermen don’t want to have someone else checking behind them. They’d prefer to operate the water facility as they see fit.

We know where that has gotten the town in the past.

Most of the town’s meters have been broken through the years, so there has been virtually no accountability on how much water is being used, by whom or whether or not water customers pay the bills.

As much as it pains us to say this, Ferriday needs the help of the government to ensure the $6 million investment doesn’t get washed down the drain by a repeat of the poor leadership of the past.