Police Jury: Camp Minden water study to begin soon

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A study on the possibility of re-opening a dormant water treatment plant located at Camp Minden in Webster Parish lacks only a signature to get underway.

Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus told members of the parish police jury Wednesday that an agreement has been reached with engineers, who will also study the quantity and quality of water that would go through the plant.

Parish attorney Patrick Jackson told the jury terms of the agreement with KSA, the firm that will conduct the assessment of the water treatment facility and water supply, have already been approved.

“About a month ago (then agreement) was passed, subject to my review,” Jackson said. “We got all the changes back and it’s good to be signed.”

Altimus said with verification, the agreement could be signed, “…so we can move ahead.”

Last month, representatives from the Bossier Parish Police Jury discussed the project with their counterparts in Webster Parish and received that panel’s approval to move forward. Bossier Parish has agreed to foot the bill for the study.

At the Webster police jury meeting, Lanny Buck of KSA said the study would be conducted in steps. Step one, he said, would determine if enough water is available, if the plant can be permitted and what it will cost to bring the plant back on line.

Reports on water quality and quantity, and the condition of the plant, will take 150 days, Buck said. The distribution study will require another 210 days. If KSA should find a roadblock to the project, “we’re going to stop there,” Buck said.

Bossier Parish is preparing to conduct the study that officials in both parishes believe will go a long way toward addressing future water needs in southwest Webster Parish and east Bossier Parish.

A previous study of the Camp Minden water supply was commissioned by the Bossier Parish police jury and conducted by Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure in 2010. That study evaluated the economic benefits to residents and businesses in the Haughton, east Hwy. 80 and Sligo Road areas and in southwest Webster Parish.

Shaw’s study reviewed existing customers, identified potential new customers, produced a future growth analysis, presented a supply and demand review and gave assessments on operating costs. The Shaw report identified 25 utilities as potential users of Camp Minden water; 17 of those are in Webster Parish.

In his report to the police jury, parish engineer Butch Ford said residents will see a lot of construction activity along La. Hwy 3 in connection with the parish’s $55 million-plus sewer project.

“They’re getting started on La. 3 and will be moving east toward Red Chute,” Ford said. “We’re also authorized to go out for bid on the Kingston Road lift station, so it’s all coming together.”

Ford also told the jury members that updates from the National Weather Service leads him to believe the major impact of rising waters on the Red River will be in the southern part of the parish, south of state highways 154 and 157.

“We’re not anticipating water out of the banks of the bayous north of 154 or 157,” he said. “What’s saving us is rainfall. We were inundated in 2009, but we’re not anticipating any significant rainfall for the next several days.”