Look ahead for Plain Dealing, Haughton

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What 2014 has in store, according to towns’ mayors

Friday, we took a look at what 2014 held in store for Bossier City and Bossier Parish as a whole. Now we’re going to look at the towns across the parish.

See what lies ahead for Plain Dealing and Haughton in the next year:

 Plain Dealing

Plain Dealing Mayor Wiley Robinson says there will be a lot of improvement and upgrades coming next year.

The town has had Louisiana Community Development Block Grants approved for waste water plant upgrades and street paving.

The town received approximately $426,000 to rebuild the infrastructure of its wastewater treatment plant and $404,000 to pave 11 streets.

“They’re going to bid in the first of January and we hope to be moving forward in March. It’s real good news for our constituents and town,” said Robinson.

Robinson
Robinson

In conjunction with wastewater treatment upgrades, town residents can expect an increase in their sewer and water bills starting in January. The town council recently approved raising the town’s water bill by 14 percent and its sewer bill by 33 percent.

“Our town council approved that increase recently and it was needed to sustain our water and sewer department. It’s something we needed to do to help keep the vitality of our systems and keep it as low as we could,” said Robinson.

The average water, sewer, and garbage combo bill will now be $42-$45. It is currently $36.

“It’s still the lowest in our area. We aven’t had a rate increase since 2009,” said Robinson.

Longterm, Robinson hopes to see movement next year on a park in the area, complete with a pavilion, tennis courts, and ball fields.

“It’s very preliminary. Nothing is for sure, it’s just a long term project I would like to see happen for the town of Plain Dealing,” said Robinson.

He also believes strongly in attracting economic development and job growth to the town.

“We’re dealing with the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation and North Louisiana Economic Partnership to get jobs in our area, that’s something we desperately need,” said Robinson. “We’re a sleepy town up here, but growth is moving our way and I would love to see more jobs.”

Robinson said 2013 was a good year that saw several improvements. Among them was a first for the town — retirement system for its employees.

The town also enacted a popular ordinance prohibiting wearing pants below the waist.

“That went well for the town. People were asking for it and our police have gotten out and enforced it,” said Robinson.

They also managed to make strides with cleaning up the town.

“I want to thank the people of Plain Dealing for working with me to take down old houses and clean up lots that were eyesores in our towns,” said Robinson.

Haughton

The Town of Haughton had a busy year after beginning construction on a new wastewater plant. The town closed on a $3.3 million Department of Environmental Quality loan earlier this year.

The town will spend the first quarter of next year focusing on finishing up that plant.

Anderson
Anderson

“We should be finished by February or March. A lot of that is pending on the weather. But it’s in good shape now,” said Mayor Carlton Anderson.

Next year, the town will file for a LCDBG (Louisiana Community Development Block Grant) to extend the town’s sewer line that runs to the new sewer plant. Construction will start in 2015.

The town is steadily growing with new homes, restaurants, and stores, best illustrated by the new Haughton Middle School that will start construction in 2015.

“We’re still adding to our subdivisions — Cornerstone, Tuscany, and the Spring Creek area,” said Anderson. “We’re looking forward to adding more and we’re just growing and growing in this area.”

The past year saw strides made with their sewer and water infrastructure.

“It was a long time project. We were behind with all of the growth we’ve had but we made arrangements to take care of our waster water,” Anderson said.