BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After a sewage malfunction last September, raw sewage from the Gardere Treatment Plant flooded the streets and homes of people living in the area. On Wednesday the Metro Council unanimously approved a $143,842.20 settlement to a Gardere Lane property owner.
Councilman Rowdy Gaudet represents that area and says the council recognizes this is an incident the City-Parish is responsible for and these approvals are a step in the right direction.
Wayne Myles can still vividly recall coming home from a quick trip to the store to a sight he was not expecting. Raw sewage had flowed out of the Gardere Treatment Plant right into his home. After being reimbursed for most of the belongings he had to throw out, he just wants to know it will never happen again.
“I hope nobody ever has to go through it again, you know, cause it just leaves something with you, that’s something that you’ll never forget. When I opened the door and I smelled it, it was like, ‘Wow.’ [I] came back and was looking at the parking lot like, ‘Man, where is all this water coming from?'” Myles recalled.
While working on avoiding future malfunctions, District 3 Councilman Gaudet says the city has also purchased property around the plant to serve as a buffer zone.
“We have launched a report into exactly what caused and triggered this spill from back in September. We’ll put in some additional measures to stop it if, in fact, a spill happens to come in the future,” said Gaudet.
In the meantime, the council has been approving settlements for those affected by the spill.
“It’s important that these residents recognize that they’ll be made whole from the losses they experienced. These settlement offers that have come through thus far get unanimous approval. I don’t see us deviating from that process,” said Gaudet.