Young professionals hear about proposed Calcasieu sewerage tax - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Young professionals hear about proposed Calcasieu sewerage tax

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If you live in a rural area and have raw sewage running in front of your house-- you may wonder-- how fast will the situation improve if voters pass the sewerage tax.

Calcasieu parish officials admit change won't happen overnight. They say the quarter  per cent sales tax only begins the process of providing the infrastructure needed.

Calcasieu's young Administrative Analyst, Alberto Galan, explains the proposal to young professionals of Fusion 5." Untreated sewage is being released into our ditches, our rivers, our streams, our bayous," he said.

Those in the business of economic development will tell you, no sewerage infrastructure is often a deal breaker when it comes to enticing a new store or restaurant to locate here.

Clair Hebert is an economic developer who knows first hand.

"It becomes, well why don't you have sewer, about what we think is important as our community grows, why don't we have it," she said.

The young professionals of Fusion 5 learned more about the sewerage proposal, which is a quarter per cent sales tax outside the cities of Calcasieu.

If the sewer tax passes, the road and garbage tax will be lowered to offset the increase--except  in the Moss Bluff area which has no road and garbage tax.

Calcasieu Administrator Bryan Beam says at the outset, the tax would help build big lines along major corridors.

"This phase is strictly to get corridor sewerage in unincorporated areas of the parish for two reasons.  economic development which is needed and quality of life because, over time, all of this untreated waste that is currently out there does go into our rivers.  We can't get to residential areas until we actually have this first," he said. 

He says gradually the lines would make their way to residential areas where people will have the opportunity to receive service.

"Would allow at a later time residences to connect if those neighborhoods chose.  Like anywhere else in the country, if that happens there's always going to be things like a tap in fee or some type of front foot assessment and user fees," he said.

Fees that in some areas would compensate nearby cities for treating rural sewage.
Other parishwide issues on the April 5th ballot include renewal of property taxes for Mosquito Control and the Criminal Justice System.

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