St. John Council plans for land purchase delayed

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 28, 2005

By Molly Dryman

Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The decision to buy and locate land for a new sewer plant has been delayed for two weeks.

The ordinance to buy land for the sewer plant was introduced two weeks ago by Division 7 Councilman, Steve Lee.

Lee said this has been a problem since he has been back in office and although it was first introduced two weeks ago, he has supported this for about two years.

“I am ready to take action,” said Lee. “There is a serious problem with capacity in LaPlace.”

Lee said he knew there was a need for this and the right thing to do and now it is the only thing to do.

The reason for the delay, results in unfinished business.

Council Chairman, Joel McTopy, agreed with the decision to table the topic.

He said the delay was a good thing, because why go in to something when you have some loose ends you want to tie up? This allows time to think about the problem and time to come up with solutions.

“I have plans, I’m taking classes, meeting with people, and getting our people involved,” said McTopy.

McTopy said Lee came to him before the meeting saying “it doesn’t look like we’re ready to go with this right now.” Lee stated this was true, because two council members requested at the last minute to table the topic in order to get additional information for a better short term solution to this problem.

“I have supported this for a long time,” said Lee. “What is two more weeks?”

McTopy said he supports this ordinance, because it is a long term plan.

“We have a problem today and we are going to have a problem tomorrow, relative to sewer treatment capacity, that needs to be solved,” said McTopy.

“I want to look at a five, ten, 15, 20, 50 year plan, so that we don’t have to worry about solving it years from now. With that in mind, I can support the long term plan. As long as I have a commitment to solve the immediate problem. I got the commitment I feel that I need, I committed to go with the long term proposal, so I’m all in favor.

Lee said another problem is getting people to vote in favor of putting the sewer plant in LaPlace by the Dupont chemical plant.

“We are putting a sewage facility right next to a chemical plant, not a water plant,” said Lee. “Tell me that’s not responsible. I am ready to debate anyone who thinks this is not the best thing to do.”

Lee stated the best possible solution was to put the plant in LaPlace, because that is where the majority of the population lives and the problem is not on the west bank, but the east bank.

“According to the numbers, this only makes sense,” said Lee. “Not only will it take care of the problem in LaPlace, but it will also help the areas in Reserve and Garyville.”