Monica pushes site for new sewer plant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A new option for a regional wastewater treatment plant for St. John Parish is in the works with a new site and lower price tag.

Although the new site is still under investigation, it is raising awareness among the neighborhoods that have not had the chance to review the facts.

“We found a site owned by Dupont that is 42.6 acres of pecan orchards,” said Parish President Nickie Monica. “We want to buy 20 acres of that land for the new plant.”

Monica said the cost to buy the land would be around $300,000 or less, totaling the whole project at about $6 million. He also said NOAH baseball park is just west of the site and communities are located a quarter of a mile away. Eventually the plant would hold 10 million gallons per day, but the first phase would start at two million gallons per day, he said.

“You wouldn’t be able to see the plant,” Monica said. “There is thick foliage all around and no residents. The new plant would be a state-of-the-art facility, so there should be no problems with smells or leakage.”

Monica said the Dupont property, located north of the tracks in LaPlace, is the best site for the facility, because there is an existing infrastructure of a 24-inch force main running next to the railroad track that leads to the River Road plant. He also said the exiting permit for River Road can be used for the new site and the property is already zoned industrial. The site is also in an isolated area with a cost relatively cheaper than previously purposed sites, it is located a quarter mile from the nearest home and the soil condition are favorable for the design.

Dupont has not committed to selling the property, but continue to meet with the Parish and representatives of the Near Neighbors’ Group.

“We want to give the people factual information ahead of time,” Monica said. “I have met with some area residents and I am willing to continue to meet with whoever wants to discuss this site. We have put together maps and other visuals to help the residents see what we are wanting to do.”

Chief Administrator Natalie Robottom said the only opposition they have had was from a few residents, but no official proposal has been made as the site is being investigated.

“This is not based on logic, it is emotionally charged,” Robottom said. “We are still under the impression that the residents want the facts and that is what we are giving them.”