PARKS, LA — The only source of income for the Village of Parks is the village water department. The mayor is concerned that with increasing age, could come increasing trouble, and he says the time to act is now, "we have to prepare ourselves for the future, we can't wait until the last minute and then hit people with bombshells", Mayor Kevin Kately tells KATC.
The current water system in Parks is nearly 70 years-old and Mayor Kately says that if current billing rates don't change it will be nearly impossible to afford repairs should something catastrophic happen. Kately adds, "when I took office, it was one dollar increase in 20 years, one dollar so we did a little one dollar increase, now the thing is, I didn't wanna impact the people."
Compared to other water systems throughout the state, Kately says the durrent mininmum the village charges is not nearly enough to cover the estimated $8 million that it could cost to replace the system and nearly 200 miles of pipe. "If your not charging 20, I mean 30 to 50 bucks minimum charge, you're nowhere near where your gonna be able to improve your water system. We're only charging $14", he says.
While he doesn't plan to raise rates to those levels, customers can expect to see a gradual increase over the next few years. The mayor also added that while they don't have the millions of dollars needed to replace the entire water system, they are making small improvements with the revenue they do have.