Sewer system work to start in 30 days

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Design work done on Hwy. 80 corridor for parish-wide system

Bossier Parish officials say final decisions on the parish-wide sewer system could be made in the next 30 days.

The Bossier Parish Police Jury has secured funding for the $45 million and is taking bids on the construction phase.

Butch Ford, Parish Engineer, said this project is without a doubt bigger than anything the parish has seen to date, surpassing projects like the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway and the north Airline Drive extension.

“The design work is done and we’re ready to go,” Ford said.

The original design called for a sewage plant and system that would generate three million gallons of treatment per day, yet still had the space to double that amount to accommodate future growth demands. A study done in 2008-2009 showed the target market for the originals project was around 4,500 customers along the Highway 80 corridor.

However, growth in north Bossier took off around the time that study was completed. Ford said they are now considering the option of building the plant to treat the six million gallons right from the beginning and opening the customer base to include Highway 80 and north Bossier.

“We’ve got some decisions to make over the next 30 days,” Ford said. “This thing is growing so big that I believe we will be in the 6,500 customer range by next December.”

So what does that increase mean for the Police Jury’s design plan? Just like with everything else in Bossier Parish, Ford said they are just going to adjust to growing pains early on.

“The lines and pump stations will have to be bigger because there are more customers than what the initial study showed and we still anticipate growth in this area,” Ford said. “Bossier is growing, but it’s a good problem to have. We’re the fastest growing parish north of I-10 and the fifth fastest in the entire state.”

The process began nine years ago when the police jury saw a need for an upgraded sewer system along the Highway 80 corridor. Ford said there are 33 individual community sewer systems in the Haughton area alone, each installed by new residential developments and businesses moving into the area.

The police jury began looking into a way to take those systems off the market to create a single sewer district. The original plan was to have a single system along the Highway 80 corridor that would all tie into Red Chute.

However, they revised their original plan to accommodate north Bossier growth since Bossier City’s sewer system did not extend far enough north. Their plan now, Ford said, is to construct a $45 million sewage system and plant along the Red River with lines coming in from north Bossier and Highway 80.

The police jury has secured funding for the multi-million dollar project from several sources, including $30 million from Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Customers of the system will pay for the system with a slight increase to rates, which Ford said the average bill is now $40 to $42.

Bill Altimus, Bossier Parish Administrator, said the benefits of a new parish-wide sewer system is that it will be cleaner for the environment and it will open more opportunities for residential and commercial development in the area.

“This is setting the parish up for future growth,” Altimus said. “A lot of the development we see is good development for this area. Without this [sewer system], we’re not going to grow. ”

Altimus also said the timing of the sewer system is here and now.

“These issues are not going away and need to be addressed,” Altimus said. “It’s not getting any better and it’s not getting any cheaper. We are growing so fast that we need to get this straightened out.”