Calcasieu

Oct 6, 2013 3:48 PM by katc

Calcasieu scales back sewer proposal

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will go ahead with a smaller, $110 million plan to expand sewer infrastructure in unincorporated areas and pay for it with revenue from a proposed sales tax, gambling funds and state grants.

The American Press reports the plan was scaled back from a nearly $150 million proposal introduced in July amid concerns over how it would be funded.

The current plan calls for paying for about half of the project's cost with a 20-year, quarter-cent sales tax in the parish's unincorporated areas - a reduction from the half-cent sales tax that was originally proposed.

The Police Jury is expected to call an election for the sales tax at its Nov. 7 meeting. If approved, the election would be scheduled for April 5, 2014.

"We sought out a lot of public input informally after the plan was introduced, said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam. "There was a lot of acknowledgment of the need of getting sewer in these areas, but there was a concern on the amount of taxes. It was an evaluation of that and trying to make it a little more manageable in terms of the scale of it so that it wouldn't be as big of a tax burden."

In addition to the smaller sales tax, the plan calls for the Police Jury to reduce the 1.5-cent road and garbage collection tax levied in Wards 2-8 to 1.25 cents for the remaining seven years of the term. Residents in the Ward 1 area, including Moss Bluff and Gillis, do not pay that particular tax.

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