Jury votes to merge water systems

By Paige Nash

At last week’s Webster Parish Police Jury meeting the jury approved a resolution agreeing to dissolve the McIntyre Waterworks District and merge the assets and operations into the Pleasant Valley Water System.  

Consolidations of water systems like this are taking place across the parish and are accredited to funding made available through Louisiana’s Water Sector Program which falls under the American Rescue Plan Act.  

The state allocated $300 million to the program for Round One and $450 million for Round Two.  

“It is getting so hard to get the money for grants and different things. It just really makes sense for some of our water districts to combine and take advantage of these large grants and be able to drill some new wells if necessary or new water plants,” said juror Daniel Thomas. “Our people who work these water systems are doing it because they love their community and they work really hard on it, but it’s just getting to where there is no money available, so this is one time that we got a lot of money that we can really invest in the systems.” 

Consolidation of water systems approved for Round One are in the works, while consolidations for Round Two were just approved by the Water Sector Commission last month. 

Engineer David Wilkinson, who is overseeing the merging of the McIntyre Waterworks District and Pleasant Valley Water System, said that Webster Parish came out well for both rounds. This will allow many system upgrades and much needed repair work.

Others in the parish consolidating are as follows:  

Blocker Water System and Midway Water System 

Jenkins Community Water System and Horseshoe Road Water System 

Shongaloo Water System, State Line Water System and Dorcheat Acres Water System 

Sibley Water System and Salt Works Water System 

“If I added correctly that takes us from 33 to 26 water systems in the parish,” said WPPJ President Jim Bonsall.  

Webster Parish Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Brian Williams also serves as Fire Chief for District #7 in Dixie Inn. He expressed his gratitude to Wilkinson for getting input on the most beneficial placement of the new fire hydrants that will be installed during the upcoming consolidation.