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Police Jury appoints members to sewerage commission

Last Modified: Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:33 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Five Calcasieu Parish police jurors will serve on the nine-member commission that will help carry out a nearly $150 million proposed sewer expansion plan in the parish’s unincorporated areas.

The Police Jury agreed to establish the appointments at its regular meeting Thursday. Commission members include Police Jury President Shannon Spell, Tony Stelly, Elizabeth Griffin, Francis Andrepont and Chris Landry.

Other commission members: one representative from Lake Charles; one from Sulphur; and two rotating among DeQuincy, Iowa, Vinton and Westlake. Parish Administrator Bryan Beam said those appointments have not yet been announced.

One commission member rotates among all entities, starting with the Police Jury. Each member will serve a term of three years.

Spell said the appointments are the “start of parishwide effort of collaboration ... to work towards a common goal to find and propose a sewer solution” in the unincorporated areas.

The proposed expansion includes 10 projects throughout the parish. Most of the work would be funded by a 20-year, half-cent sales tax that would be voted on in April by residents living in the unincorporated areas. The rest would be funded by parish gambling money and state grants.

Sewer improvements

The panel approved accepting a bid of $345,735 from Blake D. Hines Inc. to perform sewer upgrades at the Calcasieu Correctional Center.

Dean Kelly, the parish’s assistant director of facility management and project manager, said crews will upgrade the lift stations that transport sewage to Lake Charles’ treatment plant.

Kelly said crews will also install automatic trash removal systems to prevent clogs in the sewer lines. The existing system required workers to manually lift out and dump baskets that collected the trash and debris, something that he said was not sanitary.

“The system has been broken for a little while,” Kelly said. “So much trash is going down the line to the city. The improvements are a big thing for both agencies.”

Trouth Plumbing and Heating Co. also offered a bid on the project.

Codes amended

The panel also agreed to change an ordinance that removes the distance restriction for businesses that sell packaged liquor and food, as long as at least 50 percent of the sales revenue comes from food or other domestic items.

Wes Crain, the parish’s planning and development director, said the ordinance contained a provision that required businesses selling packaged liquor to be at least 300 feet from churches, synagogues, public libraries, a parish playground or public schools, except schools for businesses and education that are conducted as a business college.

He said the provision was changed after a local “grocery-type store” wanted to locate in the Moss Bluff area across the street from the public library.

Crain said convenience stores will likely have to follow the 300-foot rule because most of the revenue generated comes from gasoline sales.

“We didn’t want to open it up to all businesses,” Crain said of the ordinance being changed.

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