Patterson council OKs water plant funds

PATTERSON — The City Council introduced an ordinance that would authorize the city to issue $4.6 million of bonds for construction of a new $9.4 million water plant.

The city had already approved about $5 million in bonds from Patterson State Bank and Morgan City Bank in 2011, but the cost for construction of the plant went up from about $5 million to $9.4 million since then, requiring the city to secure more money for the project.

The ordinance will have a public hearing before the start of March’s council meeting, and then it will be available for adoption.

“We just have to complete the timetable work and so forth and probably by the end of the year, we will have our new water plant,” Patterson Mayor Rodney Grogan said at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the city will break ground on the water plant in the early fall, Grogan said.

The city has received a $3.73 million 40-year loan from the USDA, and a $700,000 grant from the USDA for construction of the plant.

“I’ve already been contacted by Congressman Vitter and by Boustany’s office because our monies are there (to go toward construction), $3.7 million and a $700,000 grant,” Grogan said.

The council passed an ordinance to allow for the closure of an undedicated public street behind Patterson Junior High School. The council had already passed a resolution to authorize an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the St. Mary Parish School Board to limit access to the street during school hours.

The resolution and ordinance were passed in an effort to secure the campus in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The council approved a permit for a One Thousand Man March sponsored by Love Without Walls at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23 in response to “all the domestic violence we have had in the area” and “at least four deaths in the past four years,” Grogan said.

The march will begin at Place Norman Shopping Center and proceed to City Hall where there will be a town hall-type meeting with guest speakers, he said.

“The public really needs to be educated in regards to how they can get out and a safe way to get out (of domestic violence),” Grogan said.

Speakers from the district attorney’s office, law enforcement officials and social workers from child protective services are some of the speakers scheduled.

In other business, the council

—Approved the Krewe of Amani parade permit for Monday. The parade starts at Patterson High School and ends at Place Norman Shopping Center

—Approved a permit for the American Legion Can Shake fundraiser from 8 a.m. to noon on March 2 at the corner of Catherine and Main streets. The Can Shake raises money to fund a scholarship and two awards, said Troy Larive of American Legion Post 242 in Patterson.

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