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Story Archives: Sewer system takeover pends ownership swap
|Sewer system takeover pends ownership swap|
Any moves the Franklin Parish Police jury had in mind for the disfunctioning Washington Subdivision sewer system have been put on hold pending a swap in ownership from an individual to the parish.
The jury agreed at its May meeting to take the offer of Leedale Heckard for $1 to purchase the subdivision's system. However, at a special meeting called to address sewer discharges into ditches, the jury was advised not to take any action until property ownership could be changed.
Jurors were moving quickly to find temporary solutions to the sewer discharges when David Doughtry, a Fifth District assistant attorney and the jury's legal counsel, urged the group to delay.
After discussion, the jury agreed to spend up to $10,000 to get the system for 52 homes outside of Wisner on state highway 562 functioning. However, the expense is dependent upon the successful transfer of ownership.
Residents of the subdivision have reportedly suspended paying for sewer services which has hurt the owner's ability to pay for repairs. Without repairs, the system has degraded to the point of little effectiveness.
Jurors, Jackie Johnson and Harvey Guimbellot said it would be, "a matter of time, before the jury would be," forced to take over this problem.
Doughtry told the jury, "Until you get an enforcement mechanism regarding the collection of fees, you're likely to be in financial trouble over this."
Johnson said arrangements were being made for collection of both water and sewer service in the subdivision at the same time and non payment of either service would result in the loss of both services.
"You shut off the water and there won't be any sewer," said K.W. "Buddy" Parks.
Earlier, juror Leroy Scott asked if parish ownership of the sewer system would enhance the possibility of finding grants for the system. Doughtry and other parish advisors agreed it would be helpful.
Don Riser, sanitarian manager for the parish in the Department of Health and Hospitals, said his office had evaluated the steps needed to bring the system up to code. He added his office could work with the jury as long as progress toward controlling health concerns was being demonstrated.