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Parish to open sewer bids for Washington Heights subdivision

 

VIDALIA — More than 35 residents of the Washington Heights subdivision near Ferriday could be getting a fresh new sewage system before Christmas, Concordia Parish officials said.

During the regularly scheduled meeting of the Concordia Parish Police Jury on Monday evening, secretary and treasurer Sandi Burley said the parish was unable to touch the sewage system for more than a decade because it was on private property.

The original owner declared bankruptcy in the 1990s and abandoned it.

The parish persistently sought funding from grants to repair the system, Burley said, adding that once it was repaired the parish could absorb the system into theirs and continue treating sewage from the subdivision.

During Monday’s meeting some of those residents said they have for three or more years endured waste sitting in their toilets and clogged drains in their bathtubs and sinks and have written their concerns to local, state and federal governments in hopes of being heard.

In April last year, their cry for help was answered in the form of an approval for more than $400,000 from a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant without a match requirement, Burley said, which would allow them to restore the sewage lines and finally flush out three year’s worth of backed up septic pools.

Following its approval, the jury received a bid from a single contractor for approximately $200,000 more than the grant, so the board was forced to revise the scope of the project in hopes of getting fresh bids below the $404,000 cap on the grant, Burley said.

After cutting a line from residents who signed documents stating they did not want to be tied in to a new sewage system, the parish will be opening new bids on April 16, Burley said. If one of them is accepted, the project should begin after a 45-day waiting period and be completed in less than six months.

“For anyone that calls, just a little more patience is all we ask for,” Burley said. “This project means just as much to us as it does to you (the residents.) We want this to happen for you, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure we don’t miss any steps and have to go back to the drawing board. As for myself and the jury, we’re behind you, 100 percent.”

District 4B juror, Jimmy Wilkinson, said he commends the effort from the community and its patience with the project. The board plans to host a pre-bid meeting with prospective bidders and residents who wish to attend at 11 a.m. on April 8 in Room 2 of the Concordia Parish Courthouse. The meeting hopefully would clear up any confusion in regards to the project and help it move forward, Wilkinson said.

“Any of those meetings are open to the public,” Wilkinson said.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting, the jury, with District 4A juror Jerry Beatty absent, the board:

4Approved minutes for the regularly scheduled meeting on March 11 and the special called meeting on March 13 by a vote of 8-0.

4Heard speeches from Steve May, a retired Sheriff from Caldwell Parish, who is running for the Louisiana State Senate and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy David Hedrick, who is running for CPSO Sheriff.

4Approved a proposal from Cintas for cleaning materials for the parish courthouse and jail by a vote of 8-0.

4Approved a motion to send letters to parish residents for ordinance violations pertaining to grass and debris.

4Approved occupational licenses for Mid Stream Tow Boat Supply LLC in Vidalia and Kelly Electric in Ferriday.

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