City Council accepts bid for sewer plant

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com

PLAQUEMINE – The City of Plaquemine Board of Selectmen adopted a resolution accepting the bid of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for the purchase of an $8 million sales tax bond to build a wastewater treatment plant to replace the existing one.

The board approved the measure at their regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 12, according to Mayor Mark “Tony” Gulotta.

“The sewer plant is out of capacity,” Gulotta said. “It was built in 1960.”

Gulotta said the total cost of the plant is expected to run $10 million with the other $2 million used to for electrical purposes. The mayor said some monies from the Hurricane Gustav recovery fund have been committed to the plant and the remaining costs will come from the $950,000 the board is expected to borrow from DEQ.

The board also approved a resolution that includes provisions giving preliminary approval for the issuance of a $4 million Utilities Revenue and Refunding bond to be used at the city’s steam plant.

“We are exchanging out our transformer and installing a new one,” Gulotta said. “We are going to use the old one as a back up.”

Gulotta also said the city will authorize a $2 million bond to pay off its water plant.

“We are going to pay off an older note at our water plant because we can refinance at a better rate of interest,” Gulotta said.

The board also considered several condemnation hearings. Gulotta said two met all required upgrades and two were tabled to the next meeting to allow continued work.

“Those are constant and we have those at every meeting,” Gulotta said.

The board also appointed Frank Mott director and Gulotta alternate director to represent Plaquemine on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Municipal Natural Gas Purchasing and Distribution Authority.

A resolution declaring intention to participate with other Louisiana Energy and Power Authority cities in a combined undertaking to finance, acquire, construct, operate and maintain an electric generating plant was also passed.

“We are looking to secure a new long-term electrical contract to keep the rates low,” Gulotta said.

Lastly, the board met in executive session to discuss litigation with William Gregg.  

“It is not very serious,” Gulotta said. “It is mild but it is still a lawsuit.”