Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

West Orange agreed to go forth in seeking a $5 million grant to rebuild its sewer and wastewater treatment plant at its city council meeting Monday.

Plans are to build a $6.5 million plant adjacent to the current one, with all crucial components of the plant elevated above the flood plain, explained Melinda Smith of Traylor and Associates.

The current plant has been flooded in the past by hurricanes and tropical storms.

The local match for the U.S. Economic Development Administration grant would be $1.25 million, Smith said.

She said that cost would be split between West Orange, the Orange County Water Control and Improvement District #2 and the Orange County Port and Navigation District.

Smith said plans are for West Orange to finance its share with monies from CDBG-Disaster Relief funds.

Smith explained the purpose of the EDA grant is not classified for mediation or floodplain relief but for expansion and creating new jobs and retaining employees.

The end product will be “a significant increase” in capacity, Smith said, such that will allow for new plants and homes.

West Orange city council members voted unanimously to approve an agreement with Traylor & Associates for administrative services Monday, then they voted to hire Arceneaux, Wilson & Cole of Port Arthur for engineering work on the project.

Council members also approved an interlocal agreement between the city, the water district and the port outlining the responsibilities of each entity.

Smith was not at the West Orange meeting. She was at the water district board meeting held at the same time.

The water board tabled the measure. Earlier Monday, the port’s board of directors voted in agreement to the interlocal agreement.

Smith said the agreement made the port district a “source of last resort” for funds.