COTTON VALLEY – The Town of Cotton Valley is receiving matching funds to completely renovate its sewer treatment plant.

Mayor Joseph Alexander received a letter last week saying the town had been approved for capital outlay money from the state.

The town got a memorandum in July regarding the next steps to obtain the funding. They were listed as a priority 1 in capital outlay in this year’s legislative session, set to receive $1.26 million.

“Our engineer said the sewer plant is only running at 48 percent right now,” he said. “It could shut down any minute, and the sewer plant is just completely messed up. We had gotten $400,000 previously for upgrades, but we now have about $600,000 to completely redo the plant.”

The money is payable through general obligation bonds.

“They’re sending me more paperwork to be filled out, but the money is there ready to be spent,” he said.

The sewer plant was built in the 1970s and it needs upgrades and replacements, he said.

“About six or seven years ago, they made a few upgrades, but not much,” Alexander said. “It’s operating at 48 percent but could go to 20 percent at any time. It’s still doing its job, and we’ve probably spent about $30,000 to keep it going.”

In 2016, the water and sewer department had expenses of about $389,000, bringing in only about $265,000 in revenue, according to their audit – leaving them with a negative balance of about $59,000 in that fund.