Jan 25, 2013 7:12 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Grand Coteau officials are finally talking publicly about violations found in the town's water system. Our crews were not allowed inside an emergency meeting held Wednesday night. The building was blocked off while the mayor met with council members about water violations handed down by the State Department of Health and Hospitals.
Town leaders told KATC's Allison Bourne-Vanneck the violations are not out of the norm. Grand Coteau Mayor Virginia Pierre says the water is fine and recent violations have nothing to do with water quality. She refused to speak on camera, but she gave KATC a press release stating the water is fine and was never harmful to citizens. Town Supervisor David Nevills also says the water is safe to drink.
"It was blown out of proportion, all towns have problems with the water at some time or another. It happens. You just have to make the corrections," Nevills said.
While improvements were made to the water, Nevills said he's been fixing up the water system since receiving the violations last year in July.
"I had a 60 day period to do it, and I didn't do it in the 60 days, and I was supposed to get an extension and I didn't," Nevills said. "And that's the reason I got this letter. So now we're working on correcting everything. We only have about three more items to correct."
He said the total cost to fix all the violations will be about $21,000.
As for why KATC was kept out of Wednesday's meeting, the mayor said it's because it wasn't a public meeting. The mayor said she only called two council members in to explain the order from DHH, and what steps had been taken so far. However, according to the Attorney General's website, even a meeting in which officials simply receive information is considered a public meeting. In this case though, a majority of the council was not present, which means it wasn't an official public meeting.