Residents oppose being forced to pay for water line - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents oppose being forced to pay for water line

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Over the years, there has been a big effort to provide community water for some in the rural area of McCown Road and Boys Village Road in Calcasieu Parish.

Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Tony Stelly has been working on the project for a long time and is helping residents who signed a petition get the service they want.

"We've had a lot of requests from people over the years who've said that their drinking water is bad, so what we've done is, we've tried to save this money for the last eight years to try to get this water put in," Stelly said.

However, some residents are upset because they don't want to participate but may be forced to because the majority rules. More than 60 percent of landowners approved the new line, so all can be forced to pay their share. Some may be forced to borrow up to $3,000 or have a lien against their property to fund their share of a new water line. If they can't pay up front, the lien would require them to pay about $20 a month for up to 20 years.

Resident Eldred Richard is against it.

"I've got the money to pay it but a lot of people over here that brought this up, they do not have the money to pay it," Richard said.

He has a new well and doesn't want to pay a monthly water bill.

"I think it's outrageous for them putting a lien on your property for running a water line in front of your property, when you do not want to tie into it," Richard added.

But Stelly said the improvements are needed by many and that landowners will recoup what they pay through increased value to their property.

"If I were searching for a home and I had the option to choose a home with a well or a home with a community water system, my preference would definitely be a community water system," Stelly said. 

Still, some people don't want the government forcing the project and cost upon them, so police jurors must decide.

Mallard Junction Water District and the Police Jury are planning to contribute a total of in $360,000 toward the water improvements which is likely more than half the cost.

The jury takes up the issue at the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Calcasieu Government Building.

It's number 12 on Thursday night's agenda:

Receive report and recommendations from staff regarding public comment and input from property owners received during a Public Hearing held on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, at 6 p.m., in the Office of the Board of Commissioners of Waterworks District No. Five of Wards Three and Eight (Mallard Junction), relative to construction of certain water improvements and/or extensions within said District, as well as provisions for the payment thereof, all as advertised in accordance with law, and take appropriate action thereon.

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