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|Sterlington aldermen approve plans for treatment plant|
A planned wastewater treatment facility in Sterlington took one more step toward reality Tuesday when the town's board of aldermen unanimously approved a design for the plant.
Sterlington town engineer Tom Holtzclaw said the design was the result of more than a year's work.
"The plans are set," Holtzclaw said. "Everything is there from the mechanical treatment plant to the civil site plan."
The $2.2-million facility is being funded in part by a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant. Sterlington also received funding from Delta Regional Authority.
Plans for the project must be approved by state officials before construction can begin.
"I would suspect we would have comments, if any, within three to four weeks, as happened before," Holtzclaw said. "After that, we'll make a determination of where to go from there."
The new wastewater treatment plant will be built on 2.5 acres of land near the Ouachita River in Sterlington.
Holtzclaw fielded questions about the facility's location and the potential for expansion, if needed.
One consideration that could impact expansion is the site's proximity to federally protected wetlands.
Since about half of the current site is wetlands, Sterlington was approved for a wetlands construction permit for the facility. The permit would allow for expansion as long as the site does not exceed the 2.5 acres.
"The national wetlands permit is associated strictly with the land contained in the 2.5 acres," Holtzclaw said. "If we want to develop further than that, then we'd have to go back to them."
In other business, the board of aldermen declined a request from Sterlington Police Chief Barry Bonner to pursue a federal law enforcement grant.
Bonner had previously asked aldermen to approve an application to the COPS program, which would pay for three years of entry-level salary and benefits for law enforcement officers.
Several aldermen expressed concern that the town might not be able to fund the required fourth year of the program.
"In light of financial situations the way they are throughout the United States, I'm in complete agreement with whatever the council wants to do," Bonner said.
Alderman Ron Hill said he would like to look at the matter in 2010.
"I'd like to think they'll keep this going for another year and set a deadline again next year," Hill said. "By then we'll hopefully have a firmer feel of what the future holds."