CITY OF JEANERETTE JEANERETTE, LA
MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING-BOARD OF ALDERMEN Thursday September 14th, 2023
Proceedings of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Jeanerette, State of Louisiana, at their Special meeting held Thursday September 14, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Those present were: Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr., Alderwoman Mariah Clay, Alderwoman Charlene Moore, Alderwoman Tia Simmons, Alderman Ray Duplechain. and City Attorney Lucretia Pecantte. Alderman Garland Bourgeois was absent.
Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr led the prayer and Alderwoman Clay led the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr. determined that a quorum was present.
A. Wavier of Open Container, Section 11-5029, For the International French Bread Festival on October 7, 2023. Motion by Alderwoman Moore and second by Alderman Duplechain to approve the waiver, roll call vote,
Yeas: Alderwoman Clay, Alderwoman Moore, Alderman Christia Simmons, Alderman Duplechain
Absent: Alderman Bourgeois
B. Approval of the new sewer plant wetland assimilation project. Introduction by Todd Vincent with comments also by Gene Sellers of Sellers & Associates. Mr. Todd first provided an update on the project, Mr. Todd and members of Comite Resources met with DEQ permit and loan staff and were given preliminary approval for the project. The permit limits for BOD and TSS will be 30/30 versus the 10/15 limits that we will be facing. The Mayor asked if the age of the facility was taken into account when determining the limits and Mr. Todd said no, it is mainly determined by the receiving stream. Then the discussion shifted to the budget and Alderwoman Simmons said that the City does not have a million dollars in ARPA funds to put against the match. Also, prior to beginning the project the City will be spending close to a million dollars on upfront costs. Alderwoman Simmons then stated she is concerned about the pre-cost and not improving any of the old sewer piping to the plant that is allowing the infiltration. She wondered if we fixed the piping if we possibly could reduce the amount of acreage we need to buy since we will have less infiltration? It’s just a lot of money. Mr. Todd then explained that the land to be purchased includes 26 acres for the treatment plant site (and equalization basin) that is currently cane field. As well as purchasing the wetlands, 146 + 17, for the discharge from the plant. The influent flow would be split between the current and new plant and the equalization basin would contain the peak flows. Mr. Todd then went on to comment that the grant was written to request funding for a new plant and that if you wanted to use part of the funds for a changing pipes, you would need to go back to the Water Sector Commission and request a change of scope. The discussion then moved to the LRWA rate study and the state consultant is reviewing. Regarding the funding the Water Sector is $5,000,000. There is $1,000,000 cash from State Capital Outlay, LDEQ loan forgiveness of $500,000 with the LDEQ Loan of $3,868,500. To achieve the total funding of $10,368,500. There is also the possibility of funding from Delta Regional Authority through the CIF fund, or Iberia Parish, request that and there are funds that were in Priority 5 in HB2 of 2023 that may be moved to priority one or two and finally, to see if the 1 million that was given for the water be moved to the sewer. Alderman Duplechain asked about requesting additional grant funds for the project and Mr. Todd said as long as construction hadn’t started. Mr. Gene stated that the Water Sector funds are tied to a specific project timeline to get the funds. Alderwoman Simmons asked if we would need to raise the rates since the study by LRWA stated that our rates were sustainable at that time. Mr. Todd stated that if you take the full loan from DEQ he had initially projected that the sewer rate would need to be increased by $9, but based on that study it might not be that amount. The Mayor then commented that even when we were under fiscal administration it was noted that we had not kept the rates in line with the costs and there was discussion of a yearly CPI adjustment or some else to keep the rates in line. Mr. Todd then noted that our average water bill was $29.00 and sewer rate is $23, most municipalities have a higher sewer rate then water because it costs more to treat sewer then provide water. Our sewer rate is low compared to other municipalities; USDA has been using $32-$35 as an average when deciding grants. Alderwoman Moore said she likes the idea of a new sewer plant but she is also concerned about the sewer pipes. There was discussion concerning the logistics of going on private property to repair sewer lines. Alderwoman Moore said if the lines are bad and we have all this water how is a new plant going to help? Mr. Todd responded that it will treat your waste water in accordance to your permit level so you won’t get compliance orders. Most towns he said can’t fix all the infiltration so they just build the plant to handle the large flows. Alderman Duplechain asked why couldn’t we draft an Ordinance that requires the public to maintain the pipes, they are polluting the town’s septic system? The Mayor said then it comes to enforcement, we need a compliance officer or something to provide the enforcement. The Mayor then stated that we can do both, draft the Ordinance and get the plant. Mr. Seller’s said he could provide us with a copy of an Ordinance that is being used in another community. Motion by Alderman Duplechain and second by Alderwoman Moore to approve the continue moving forward with the project, roll call vote,
Yeas: Alderwoman Moore, Alderwoman Simmons, Alderman Duplechain
Nay: Alderwoman Clay
Absent: Alderman Bourgeois,
6. Adjourn - On motion by Alderwoman Simmons and second by Alderwoman Moore to adjourn carried on voice vote of all yea, no nay and no abstain and Alderman Bourgeois absent.
Carol Bourgeois Jr., Mayor
Susan Colden City Clerk
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