Vidalia wastewater treatment plant discussed

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Board of Aldermen discussed the aging state of the city’s wastewater treatment plant at its meeting Tuesday.

Utility Superintendent Mark Morace presented the annual Municipal Water Pollution Prevention report the city submits to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in which the city scored a 57 out of 100.

The city is graded on various aspects of wastewater treatment, with 0 being the best score on the report and 100 being the worst.

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Of the 57 points the city received, 42 were because of the age of the 21-year old wastewater treatment plant.

Alderman Ricky Knapp said that may be a cause for concern, if the city does not make upgrades to the facility.

Morace said he did not believe that was immediately necessary as long as the plant was still functioning.

Mayor Hyram Copeland said the city’s next administration, which takes office July 1, may want to start the process of evaluating the state of the wastewater treatment plant.

In other news from the meeting:

4The board voted to table a request from Headrick Outdoor Media to erect a billboard on Carter Street until it could be determined whether the billboard complied with the city’s new sign ordinance.

4Bethel Church pastor the Rev. Troy Thomas asked the board to allow his organization that houses those suffering from addiction and the homeless to host a fundraising roadblock on Carter Street once a year.

The roadblock would be similar to the ones hosted by Feed The Hungry and the American Legion.

Knapp, Alderwoman Mo Saunders and Alderman Jon Betts said they were not in favor of roadblocks.

Knapp said he knows of residents who detour around the roadblocks, which moves people away from businesses on Carter Street.

Saunders said she is someone who detours around the roadblocks and also cited safety concerns because of a child who was hurt during a roadblock.

Betts said he did not support the other roadblocks, because he thinks if the board supported one, it would have to support all of them.

Alderman Vernon Stevens said he took no issue with the roadblock given that the city approved the others.

Copeland suggested Thomas coordinate with grant writer Teresa Dennis to see if any federal funding would be available to aid Thomas’ organization.