Parish-wide sewerage commission being formed - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Parishwide sewerage commission being formed

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For years, the idea of providing sewer lines to unincorporated areas of Calcasieu Parish has been on the mind of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. 

"It's a long-term problem and so, what we've tried to address - it's taken us a while to get here because it's complex - is a sewerage expansion plan that's parishwide," said Calcasieu Parish Administrator, Bryan Beam. 

Beam said the installation of sewer lines to these areas will also prepare the area for an economic boom. 

"If you don't keep the economy growing, you're not going to have the tax base you need to provide those services we need to provide," said Beam. "So, that's why it's important to have those hose lines expanding." 

Before the project can take shape, a sewerage commission is being formed. On the commission will be representatives from Vinton, Westlake, Iowa, Lake Charles, DeQuincy and Sulphur, who will be the last to approve the commission at a meeting Tuesday night. 

"You would actually have a sewerage commission that would help coordinate the projects and so forth and that's what we're asking them to enter into," Beam said. 

Once the commission is formed, Beam said plans can move forward with how logistics would work that will benefit all of the parties involved. 

"If we go forward with this same plan, do we tweak it a little? We're evaluating that everyday and we take new information and absorb that and we go forward," said Beam. 

Beam estimates that by April 2014, the plan will go before the public where they will vote for or against a tax that would help pay for the project. The money from that tax would be added to the near $40 million dollar investment from the parish gaming board.  

An investment Beam said will truly pay off in the future. 

"It's a big challenge, but the payoff in terms of the benefit to the public we feel are far greater than the cause of the plan," said Beam.

Administrator Beam said that if all goes as planned, it will still take between seven and 10 years for phase one of the project to be completed. So, while it may be a little while off, very important steps are happening now. The Sulphur City council will vote on the sewerage commission at a meeting Tuesday night. 
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