The People's Tribune

Louisiana Council Reviews Georgia Street Project

The Louisiana City Council held a work study session on Monday to discuss the Georgia Street Corridor project prior to a special meeting next week.

Mayor Bart Niedner explained the project includes a new street and complete renewal of the sanitary sewer from 4th Street to the Stark Cabin. Between 4th Street and the hospital, the project also includes complete renewal of the water distribution and stormwater systems as well as a new ADA sidewalk.

Niedner outlined in a brief to council members and media that construction can be completed in 2018 and the total cost is estimated to be $4,559,922.

Niedner explained there are four pieces to the project. Three infrastructure items must be addressed including sanitary sewer, stormwater, water distribution prior to the street and sidewalk.

“Each piece needs to be done in a concerted order. Otherwise, we would be tearing up our new street and sidewalk to repair or replace underlying infrastructure,” he explained.

Streets have been torn up in the past for this reason and it is something Niedner, City Administrator Kelly Henderson and numerous council members have adamantly spoken out against doing again in the future.

Niedner addressed each piece of the project starting with the sanitary sewer.

“This work is not optional even if we were not doing the GSC project. Louisiana is under an abatement order from the State to do this work due to the 2010 failures at the old wastewater treatment plant.”

The work will cost just over $830,000 and will be financed over 15 years. Because it is an enterprise activity it is required to be funded through user rates and not taxes. The estimated rate impact is $4.56/user per month.

Stormwater is the second piece of the project and will cost about $816,320. It will be financed over 15 years through 75 percent of the sales tax that was passed. This leaves the other 25 percent of that tax to address stormwater on streets other than Georgia.

Water distribution is the third piece of the project. It is estimated to cost $915,090 and financed over 18 years. This is also an enterprise activity that must be funded through user rates and not taxes. The estimated rate impact is $4.53/user per month.

All three of the infrastructure pieces have operational lifespans of over 40 years.

The final piece of the project is the street and ADA-compliant sidewalk. This work is estimated to cost $1,996,900 with an operational lifespan of more than 25 years. It will be financed through 85 percent of the stormwater sales tax over 20 years. This leaves $30,000 per year in new revenues to address other streets in town.

The council has a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 11 to sign off on the project in addition to committee meetings.

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