Mayor in Louisiana makes case for replacing aging water system, ways to pay


SABINE PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Mayor of Many says their water system is more than 50 years old and is causing a lot of problems.

“We have water breaks in the lines, going out to the plant. The cost of treating the water in certain dry periods of the year is very expensive,” said Mayor Ken Freeman.

Engineers say the water system should be replaced every 50 to 55 years.

“We have a good system, but it is an old system. And we need to start thinking about upgrading it so that it lasts the next 50 years the next generation of our community.”

Freeman says there are two projects with the new water system they want to start immediately.

“(One) would be to remove and replace the water lines out to the plant. The other is to move the intake structure from where it is now out to the original channel to Toledo Bend River,” said Freeman.

But the price tag is $11.6 million.

The mayor says he doesn’t want to raise taxes and increase water rates, so he’s looking at grants.

“We have applied for a grant and we will continue to apply for grants that are available. But they’re highly competitive now.”

Another option is to merge the police and sheriff’s departments.

“If we merge them, we would get the same service for a million dollars less. And we could pay for this $11,600,000 improvements and not have to raise taxes and not have to raise water fees,” Freeman said.

Mayor Freeman says these options are not final and there are still decisions to be made, but he would like to get started on the water system projects by next summer.

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