Bids go out for water well, City to receive funds for personal property debris removal

Published 8:45 am Monday, June 21, 2021

Rita LeBleu, rita.lebleu@americanpress.com

The Personal Property Debris Removal program will help the City of Sulphur rid itself of some of its most dilapidated buildings and the council gave the go ahead to advertise for bids for the drilling of new water well at the Monday, June 14, meeting.

The advertising of bids is a first step in the drilling of a new well, one of the many steps in a multi-step approach to solving the water issues some Sulphur residents are having. The location of the new well will be removed from the location of the high iron and manganese-producing well, and the project will include a test well.

“In late 2019, an aggressive action plan was developed to make improvements to an aged-out water plant,” explained Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay. “The first step was to replace filter media.”

The work began in 2020 but was interrupted by the pandemic and hurricanes. Replacement of not only the filter media but new vessels became necessary.

“These vessels are currently in manufacture and will be installed over the next many months,” Danahay said.

According to a presentation earlier this year by the city’s engineering consultant, the first two filter tanks are schedule to be received, unloaded and placed on September 13, 2021.

“Finally, a pre-treatment system will be installed to remove the elements from the water before it enters the water system,” Danahay said. “We will have spent more funding on improvements of this plant than has been spent in the last 25 years combined.”

During public comment about the drilling of the new well, Sulphur resident Terry Anderson asked, “How do we know this well will work for us?” Katherine Vincent asked how long would it take the city to rectify the water problem, “one year or two, three?”

Danahay said the new well would be drilled near a well that unexpectedly collapsed in 2019 as it was being cleaned. Testing will help determine the water quality.

Sulphur resident Markel Andrepont commented that he was grateful that the drilling of the well was going forward. He had the impression that drilling the new well would be a long, drawn-out process and that funding would not be available without increasing the capital outlay recovery fee. Jennifer Thorn, Finance Director said funding will come from the half-cent sales tax and capital recovery fee funds.

“We have moved money around and re-prioritized projects,” she said.

Jo Parker, a newcomer to Sulphur requested transparency from officials and council members. She asked, “If we are playing catch up now, is there a plan so that this doesn’t happen again so Sulphur can be a city that’s moving forward ready for the future rather than having the future come to us and slap us in the face?

During public comment, citizens may state their name, address and make a comment in a three-minute window. The city council does not answer questions. However, Council Chair Joy Abshire took notes and told those who spoke at the meeting’s conclusion, “We hear you. We live here too.”

“It’s a multi-step plan and takes time from conception to completion,” Danahay said. “Is this the end all and be all? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, doing nothing is not an option so we will continue to carry out the comprehensive plan currently in motion.”

Sulphur will soon get funds for clearing out run down structures. During the meeting, an ordinance was approved authorizing the mayor to enter into a lease agreement with a mobile office company to set up an office at 1551 Napoleon Street.

The office will facilitate the personal property removal intake, according to Danahay.

City Attorney Cade Cole added, “There will be a FEMA requirement to verify that you did not receive insurance money for cleaning your property. “

””City of Sulphur