Several projects around parish await funding

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Several water and wastewater improvement projects have been submitted to the state for capital outlay funding.

In the Town of Sibley, Mayor Jimmy Williams said they are asking for roughly $300,000 to revamp their rock water pond at their wastewater treatment plant, a project that is long overdue.

“One of them is for wastewater treatment, and one is for wastewater collection,” he said. “We’ve had those in for many years. It’s just a long, long road. Now we have to put up a 20 percent match on the project, and a small town like us, we just don’t have 20 percent floating around.”

It was originally a $1 million project submitted six or seven years ago, he said, and their rock refiller pond is in dire need of revamping.

“It’s a pond with rocks and the rocks filter the impurities,” he said. “It’s only scheduled to last for 12 years, and we’ve had them for 20, so we’re playing with band-aids. We need to redo the pond, but we can’t do it on the small amount from capital outlay.”

Williams said they have a cooperative endeavor agreement from the state that they would fund $300,000 of the projects, but the Town of Sibley will have to fund 20 percent of it.

“We’re weighing all the possibilities, and you never know if they’ll be funded,” he said.

Other projects in Webster Parish are for potable water and distribution improvements for Cullen, in which they submitted for $80,000, wastewater treatment upgrades for the Village of Doyline ($45,000 and $370,000), an additional $205,600 for the Webster Parish Police Jury to finish paying off the air conditioning improvements at the Webster
Parish Courthouse and planning and construction for the Horseshoe Water System for $15,900.

Each project is prioritized at Priority 1 with the exception of Cullen and part of Doyline’s project, which are both Priority 5. According to the House Fiscal Division, each priority designates whether their project is funded.

Priority 1 funding is a cash line of credit. This means the project is a continuation of an existing cash line of credit.

Priority 5 could be a new appropriation or an existing non-cash line of credit. This means the new appropriation must receive a non-cash line of credit from the State Bond Commission in order to be approved, or it could be the continuation of trailing funds. These must be reauthorized by the State Bond Commission every year.

Capital Outlay is House Bill 2 and has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. So far, there are $1.9 billion in submitted projects from the sale of general obligation bonds. About $1.5 billion makes up the cash portion, which includes federal funds, federal and regular transportation funds, interagency transfers, miscellaneous statutory dedications, fees and self-generated revenues and revenue bonds.

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