St. Charles Council to consider moratorium extension
Published 12:00 am Monday, December 4, 2006
By SUSANNE HINKLE
HAHNVILLE- In January of this year, the St. Charles Parish Council passed a resolution that placed a moratorium on any new development on the East Bank of St. Charles Parish effective until December 31, 2006 as a direct result of a continuing water shortage on the East Bank of the parish. The East Bank’s C plant is still in crisis and the council is scheduled to consider extending the ban on further construction on the East Bank of the parish.
Councilwoman April Black introduced the initial resolution and the measure halts any new construction of trailer sites, RV parks or housing subdivisions. The resolution was sparked by the on-going water crisis on the East Bank of the parish that is the result of a decaying water process plant that is already extended past its capacity.
The council recently approved a bid to link the West Bank water plant to the East Bank via two large pipes that will run under the Mississippi River. The move is expected to alleviate some of the stress currently on the East Bank plant.
Plans to resurrect the faulty C Plant in the East Bank are underway but its future is still uncertain. This prompted the council to consider prolonging the ban on building on the East Bank of the parish until the C plant is ready to run at full capacity or the linkage under the river eases some of the stress on the C plant.
According to Robert Brou of the St. Charles Water Works the project to connect the East Bank water plant to the West Bank plant is on schedule. “We should have the go-ahead to begin the project in about a week. This doesn’t mean immediate action. The river is rising slightly, as it normally does this time of year, which could temporarily halt construction.”
“The linking project is designed to alleviate the stress on the East Bank plant. The linkage will not allow me to take down the C plant but will ease the demands on the failing plant. In the event that the C plant should fail, this will allow everyone in the parish to still have water,” said Brou.
A new plant for the East Bank of St. Charles Parish will be advertised for bid before the end of the year. It will be located directly behind the existing C plant in New Sarpy. The estimated cost of construction is $12 million but is expected to be continually revised as the construction date nears.
“This is a critical project for the residents of St. Charles Parish. We got past the summer months, now we need to get past the winter,” concluded Brou.
“The Office of Planning and Zoning will do our best to ensure the infrastructure of St. Charles Parish is maintained. We will support the St. Charles Parish Council and the moratorium resolution,” said Mike Henderson, director of planning and zoning for St. Charles Parish.
“I believe that the council will take a second look at the moratorium after the completion of the water system link to the East Bank. Until then I really do expect the moratorium to be extended. But residents should be assured that building is still on going in the parish. Everything that was in the works before the moratorium resolution was passed is free to carry on with construction,” he concluded.
The St. Charles Parish Council is set to vote on a possible extension of the moratorium for another year at the December 4 meeting.