Parish Council approves water system projects to submit for funding assistance, focuses on improving water for Parish residents

Council Member Attendance by Telephonic Conference

At its Sept. 20 meeting the Natchitoches Parish Council approved Resolutions 37, 38, 39 and 40 of 2021 for committing certain matching funds in connection with the application of Sandy Point 480, Creston, and Chestnut-Readhimer Water Systems; and Sabine Parish Waterworks District No. 1 for project funding from the State of Louisiana’s Water Sector Program.

As unanimously approved by the Council during its regularly scheduled meeting in July, all rural water systems serving residents of Natchitoches Parish were invited to submit their WATER SECTOR PROJECTS to Natchitoches Parish Government. The intention of the NPG’s involvement in these projects is to use funds from its distribution of funds associated with the American Rescue Plan Act, as permitted, to “close the funding gap” of the anticipated costs of these projects.

The requested funds are not related to the NPG normal annual budget and may be spent only on projects related to water, sewer, or storm water drainage per ARPA guidelines and guidance. If every project listed below is approved for funding at the both the State and Parish level, the total expenditure from NPG ARPA funds will be $1,256,620, with $2,449,465 remaining in this current disbursement.

American Recovery Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA): Initial funding of approximately $3.7 million has been received by Natchitoches Parish. Early guidance has indicated that along with COVID19 related costs, these funds may be used for water, sewer, and stormwater drainage related projects. Based on this guidance, NPG has formulated a framework for a plan that includes the following:

1. Partnering with rural water systems to assist in funding the “gap” in their existing funding structures on “shovel ready projects”. Projects, and recommended funding amounts will be subject to Parish Council approval. These are projects the Council approved at Monday night’s meeting.

2. Working within each district with engineers and Parish Council representatives to develop drainage projects, RFPs, and subsequent approval of projects that meet the following conditions:

3. Solve immediate stormwater drainage problems in each district, and
Focus not only on drainage, but also storm water retention, and controlled outflow.

The Water Sector Projects to be submitted to the State of Louisiana, and requesting ARPA funding assistance from the Natchitoches Parish Government are as follows:

NPG Water System 2021

In other business, during his report to the Council, Parish President John Richmond mentioned that a new bin site is needed in the Kisatchie area. All options/offers will be considered.

Other agenda items included:

Reappoint Ralph Hernandez to the Fire District #5 Board, Ted Duggan to the Water Works District No. 2 Board, Tracy Brown to the Library Board of Control, Laquita Collins to the Housing Authority Board, and appoint Justin Martin to replace Dorle Hays on the Fire District No. 8 Board and Mario Fox to replace George Culpepper on the Fire District No. 5 Board.

Introduction of Ordinance 014-2021 for a budget amendment for Fish Hatchery Road, Capital Outlay and American Rescue Plan Fund (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW).

Approve or deny the assessed value levied by Tax Assessor Tim Page (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW).

Approve Resolution 036-2021 for Chestnut-Readhimer Water System by the Natchitoches Parish Government supporting an emergency grant application to the Community Water Enrichment Fund and/or the Local Government Assistance Program(s) for Fiscal Year 2021-2022. There’s currently an emergency situation with this water system. The Natchitoches Parish Government is asking the state to fund a CWEF grant.

Enter into Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Natchitoches Parish Government and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

Award RFP to Wilbanks Appraisal Co. and to contract with the firm for performing the property appraisals needed for acquisition of two drainage servitudes for the construction of drainage improvements necessary to establish proper drainage on the project for the resurfacing of Fish Hatchery Road.

Seek sealed bid proposals for materials and supplies for the Parish Highway and Solid Waste Departments.

Approve the authorization for RFP for selecting a firm to handle the reapportionment/redistricting for Natchitoches Parish.

Consider selection of projects and submission of applications for Capital Outlay funding by the State including the following roads: Harmony, Goldonna, Blanchard, Bayou Derbonne, Hart, Pardee, current aged asphalt portion of Collins, Robeline Provencal (from Provencal to Old Victoria Road), Patrick, Church (Natchez), Cedar Bend/Riverview, and Brickyard.

Enter into Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the following good samaritans: Earl Bynog for Emmanuel and Paul Bynog Road, Coy Birdwell for McCaskill Cemetery and Joe Clouse Road, Monique Sarpy for J Benjamin Road, Charles Shivers for Renee Street, and Jackie Colston for Dufrene Road.

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