Drainage dominates meeting of Concordia Parish Police Jury

Published 1:13 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017


VIDALIA — Drainage in Concordia Park dominated discussion Monday at the Concordia Parish Police Jury meeting.

Ward 2 Juror Willie Dunbar said the rainstorm earlier this month caused sewage to overflow into the ditches and under people’s residences, put manholes underwater and made it impossible for residents to flush their toilets.

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“I live right there, and I couldn’t flush my commode,” Dunbar said.

Since 2012, Dunbar said he has been contacting the parish Sewerage District No. 1 and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and has seen no results.

“We have sewage water running into the ditches,” Dunbar said  “There’s no telling what kind of diseases are in there. I’ve been steady calling, but I don’t know what to do.”

Back in March, the jury approved a grant-funded $320,701.10 construction contract for sewer renovations around the parish, including Concordia Park, with work being done by Womack & Sons Construction Group of Harrisonburg, La.

The project’s aim in the Concordia Park area is to relieve this issue by utilizing an old oxidation pond as a holding area during storms.

Parish Engineer Doug Wimberly said Monday work has yet to begin on the project in Concordia Park.

“We are about to start that phase of the project,” he said. “We are waiting for it to be dry enough.”

Ward 4-B Juror and Vice President Jimmy Wilkinson said one of the problems in the area is half of the storm water getting into the system is occurring on private property, where the jury will not be able to do upgrades.

Some residents are also intentionally putting rainwater into the system.

“What they are trying to do is drain their yard, so they are taking the caps off,” Wilkinson said. “You can drive around during the rain and see them do it.”

Some of the problems are also under the foundations of people’s residences, and Wilkinson said he didn’t see many people being able to excavate to fix a sewer line.

“It is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Wilkinson said. “I think we are getting to it, especially with the reservoir that we are in the process now of constructing.”

Wimberly said with approximately $2,400, the parish could purchase manhole liners, which would also help with storm water getting into the system.

The jury voted to send the sewage board a letter to follow up on the drainage problem. Dunbar said he has been documenting all of the correspondence so far.

In other news:

-The jury approved ad valorem tax renewal elections for the Concordia Parish Library District at 8.5 mills and the Concordia Parish Recreation District No. 1 at 3 mills. The election is Saturday, April 29.

-An occupational license was approved for new business Village Wood Designs located at 5707 Louisiana 129, Monterey. The business offers wood products and other gift items.