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Most mechanical sewer system checked get passing grade

Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:44 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Nearly 70 percent of the mechanical sewer systems inspected so far in Calcasieu Parish were approved, Wes Crain, parish planning and development director, said Thursday.

Crain told the Wastewater Study Committee that 4,925 inspections were done on mechanical plants and other systems, like field lines and community systems. Of the 4,192 mechanical systems inspected, 2,942 were approved and 1,250 were disapproved.

Crain said the parish has inspected 13 percent of the 33,000 mechanical sewer systems since January. He said the checks are behind schedule and that a part-time inspector may be needed next year.

The inspections have taken place in the highly populated areas of Wards 1, 3 and 4.

The parish Office of Community Services has received 54 grant applications for funding assistance, and 24 were approved, Crain said. The 28 that were not approved were because the applicant exceeded income guidelines.

Crain said the sewer hotline — 721-3847 — has received more than 2,500 calls.

Crain also talked about a proposal where homeowners could have the quality of the sewer system’s runoff tested, instead of having a full inspection done by the parish. He said several homeowners have told the department they do not want sewer inspectors on their property.

According to the provision, homeowners could pay for a sample of the discharge to be “collected by a third-party consultant” and tested in a laboratory that is accredited by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Crain said samples would be tested for concentrations of biological oxygen demand, or BOD, and total suspended solids, or TSS. A “functioning system” would have 30 mg per liter or less of BOD and TSS, he said.

The issue will be considered by the full Police Jury Dec. 6.


Updated ordinances

The updated parish code of ordinances is easier to use because 20 existing development codes are organized into one chapter and not scattered throughout the document, said Jennifer Wallace, assistant director of advanced planning and grants.

Wallace said the document was organized into 10 articles and an appendix. She said overlapping terms and explanations were removed.

“It is so much easier to just flip to one section and all the information on that topic is there,” she said.

Wallace said the document does not contain any new regulations and “will be implemented the same way the codes (already) are.”

She said the planning department will update the document again next year to address other sections like administration, violations and fees.

The parish Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the updated document on Tuesday. The full Police Jury will consider the item Dec. 6.

The document is available at www.cppj.net and can be found at Central Library on West Claude Street and Sulphur Regional Library on Cypress Street.


Tax renewals

Three parishwide property tax renewals may appear on the April 6 ballot.

The taxes, which expire December 2013, have been around for decades, said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam. One is a 10-year, 2.48-mill tax to maintain the parish Health Unit. Beam said the tax is expected to generate $4.09 million a year.

Another is a 10-year, 3.49-mill tax to fund the Juvenile Detention Center and the Juvenile Probation Office. Beam said the tax would generate $5.76 million each year.

The third is a 10-year, 4.06-mill tax to improve roads and drainage in the parish. Beam said the tax would generate $6.7 million a year, with $1 million going into the Road and Drainage Trust Fund to be used for projects with matching local, state or federal funds.

Voters last renewed the taxes in 2004. The full Police Jury will consider the items Dec. 6.

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