Water, sewer rates may go up

Published 5:49 am Friday, March 29, 2013

New water and sewer rates could be on the way for Franklinton residents.

The Franklinton Board of Aldermen introduced two utility-related ordinances Tuesday night. The ordinances were formulated and the current charges for water and sewer usage reviewed during a workshop held March 8 at City Hall.

The first ordinance would adjust the water rates. The rate for residential customers would be a flat fee of $14 per month, plus $1.50 per thousand gallons of water used. The commercial rate for water would be a $20-per-month flat fee, with $1.50 added per thousand gallons of water used.

Currently, residential and commercial customers pay for water at the same rate, a $14-per-month flat fee and a $1.25 per-thousand fee.

The ordinance on sewer rates would set the monthly flat fee at $15 for residential customers, with $2.50 added per thousand gallons of water used. The flat fee for commercial customers would be $20, plus a fee of $2.50 per thousand gallons of water.

The current sewer rate for residential customers is a flat fee of $14 per month, with $2 added per thousand gallons of water. Commercial customers now pay a monthly flat fee of $18 and a per-thousand fee of $1.85.

The ordinances will be up for public hearing and vote at the next meeting April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The board also voted to change the date of the April 23 meeting to Monday, April 22, due to Mayor’s Day at the state Legislature, and authorized the sale of two police cars. A resolution on red flag provisions intended to protect utility customers from identity theft was added to the agenda and approved by the board.

Frankie Causey reported the organization he began last spring as the Washington Parish Re-Entry Institute has now been incorporated with a different name.

As of March 6, after three name changes, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office has approved the Southeast Louisiana Re-Entry Coalition, he said. He hopes the organization will cut the re-incarceration rate in half within five years.

Giving his report on the fire department, Chief Chad Manning said his department has responded to one structure fire, one extrication call, four motor vehicle accidents with injuries, one motor vehicle accident without injuries, one alarm, six grass fire fires and 33 medical callouts during the month of March.

The total volume of calls so far this year is 144, and all equipment is operational and in service, he said.

Police Chief Donald Folse said the police department has had 230 calls that require a report so far this year. There have been 98 arrests, with 17 of those being driving under the influence arrests, he said.

Three officers are currently in active shooter school, Justin Brown, Randall Penton and Will Brumfield.

“They will come back and share that information here, and then we’ll start a joint training process between our department, the sheriff’s office and the Bogalusa Police Department,” Folse said.

Folse gave a report on renovations being done to the department’s firing range. The sheriff’s office will be using the range and assisting with maintenance, he said.

“I think it will be a good move for everybody,” he said.

The town of Franklinton, Mayor Wayne Fleming said, has formed a good partnership with sheriff’s office and has been working with it on several projects.

Alderman John L. Daniel said the Personnel Committee has essentially wrapped up its work on updating the employee manual, though a few steps remain before the document can be finalized. Fleming thanked the committee members for their work on the project.

Presenting the financial statements for February, town clerk Merty Fitzmorris said the general fund had total revenue of $269,216.56 and expenses of $129,394.48. Interest income was $43.30, and transfers out totaled $19,168.25.

“That gave us a positive for the month of February of $25,700.13. We are at a positive year-to-date of $114,578.02,” she said.