By Bonnie Culverhouse
Minden City Council voted unanimously in a special session last week to amend the budget, making it possible to take care of sewer issues in City Districts A and B.
During 2021, 242 signatures were acquired from both districts to allow them to apply for a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant. Minden Mayor Nick Cox said the grant for $1.2 million has been awarded.
“A lot of people have a vested interest in this,” Cox said. “Several City of Minden employees and Terry Gardner (late mayor) walked the streets, along with then-District A councilman Wayne Edwards to get those signatures.”
Last week, council members with all present voted to award the bid to Suncoast Infrastructure, Inc., of Florence, Miss. The bid was $1.32 million. The amendment to the budget covered Alternate 1 of $166,700 above the grant due to cost increases since 2021-2022. It was taken from Sewer Plant Sales Taxes.
“We had a choice of either don’t do the project or pay the $166,000,” Cox said. “After everyone worked so hard to get the signatures, no one really questioned it. It’s a project that is badly needed.”
Public Works Director Tyler Wallace said “Cured In Place Pipe” (CIPP) is the process that will be used. He said it is a time- and money-saving process.
“They put a camera in the sewer lines and then a sleeve, rather than digging up and replacing the entire line,” Wallace said. “There are some portions that will still have to be replaced, but not nearly all of it.”
“Some of the sewer lines go under the roads, which would mean digging up and replacing the road in those places,” Cox added.
Wallace said he feels the project will begin before the end of 2023.
“Maybe not full construction, but the preliminary stuff,” he said.
A pre-construction conference will be held between the City and Suncoast in the upcoming weeks.
“After that, they have a certain number of days before they must start,” Wallace added.