The Ferriday Board of Aldermen postponed increasing its sewer rate after attorney Derrick Carson objected to the commercial flat rate increase from $25 to $50 a month.
"I hardly use sewage at my office and my sewage bill is higher than most residential," Carson said. "I think the town should consider base rates for usage by businesses."
After further discussion, the board agreed to look at tiering rates for commercial businesses and discussing it at the August meeting.
"I understand your concern and we are going to see what we can do," said Ferriday Mayor Sherrie McMahon. "I'm going to talk to Ken Terry (Louisiana Rural Water Association-LRWA) and see what we can do as long as the bottom line is keeping our sustainable factor at 1.1."
At a special meeting last month, the board approved an ordinance to raise sewer rates from $16.50 to $17.50 for residential while raising the usage rates on the two prisons on Hwy. 15.
The Town of Ferriday serves 970 residential connections, 134 commercial connections and the two prisons.
The rate increase became deemed necessary after a Louisiana Community Development Block sewer grant was awarded to the town two years ago after a recent audit was approved.
The $354,761 grant will be used to build new lift stations on Fudickar and Concordia Avenue.
McMahon said a new law states that the town cannot get a penny of the grant funding until a study is done on sewer rates.
At the special meeting, LRWA’s Terry told the aldermen the USDA and EPA advise towns to have a sustainability factor of 1.1.
Ferriday's sustainable rate was 1.03 before the adjustment.
"You were really cutting it close, and if the USDA is not happy with that number they will give their money to someone else," Terry said.
The board also passed a resolution to let the FHA and HUD know that the fence around Montgomery Park and Montgomery Park belongs to the town.
Clarence Hymon, who is on the Ferriday Housing Authority board, told aldermen when an inspection is done at Montgomery Square the fence is cited because it is in disrepair.
"We lost seven points because they thought the fence belonged to us and that can keep us from passing inspection," Hymon said.
The board approved the resolution unanimously.
The board also discussed cleaning up the town.
McMahon said incessant rains this year and broken down equipment has limited up the town's ability to clean up the town.
The board also agreed to ask the Police Jury to help cut grass in the town since the town picks up limbs for the Police Jury.