St. Landry

Aug 2, 2011 9:34 PM by Shawn Kline

Heated council meeting boils over water

'Enough is Enough!' That's what Palmetto residents are saying about their water at a heated village council meeting Tuesday night.
Some say they're hearing the sound of cash going straight down the drain when the faucet is on.

"$800 for someone to move into our town to get new water meters, new gas meters." Sharron Dunn says, "we can't get people to come into our town."

$800 is just to get started.
When residents found a new $3.20 charge on their bill last month, they took their issues to Mayor Jeff Benhard. He says that fee is nothing new.

"It was included in the water rates." Benhard says, "now we have a different billing system... It lays out each charge separately."

Palmetto residents say the cost of their water is just the tip of the ice berg. The real issue? The quality of water they're getting.
Some residents say their water is no cleaner than the puddles outside."

"If you would've dipped it out, put some sweet-n-low in it and served it to someone, it wouldn't have the tea taste but it smelled," Dunn said of discolored water.

"Safe water does not involve being brown." Cody Rabalais says, "water is meant to be clear."

Palmetto's Village Council says the water is safe. It blames the discoloration on its aging system and the cost to replace those water lines would be too high.
Mayor Benhard says residents can buy their own filters but a long-term fix is unlikely.



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