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Ridgecrest Mayor Veller Ray Carroll is confident the recently signed water purchase contract with Ferriday will save the village money.

“We have come up with a decent (contract) rate that we can live with and they can live with,” Carroll said. “We are now looking at several ways and will decide what is best for the people.”

Officials from both municipalities met Friday to sign the contract.

Under the contract, Ridgecrest will purchase water from Ferriday for three years, eight months at the price of $4.70 per 1,000 gallons. Ridgecrest will have an option after the first contract has expired to renew it for another three years.

Customers monthly bills will possibly average $85 per month for water, sewer and gas, said Mayor Veller Ray Carroll.

Rate studies have been performed and will be reviewed by aldermen at their regular July meeting. Aldermen will then decide on a specific rate for customers.

Ferriday Board of Aldermen approved the contract last week to sell water to Ridgecrest.

“This is a win, win for Ridgecrest and Ferriday,” Carroll said. “Ferriday produces more water than they need, and we need their water.”

Daily operation costs will no longer be a factor for Ridgecrest after Ferriday starts providing water, saving the village between $20,000 and $24,000 annually, Carroll said.

Ridgecrest’s plant has been producing brown-tinted water for months. During this time period, several boil-water notices have been activated due to the water, and residents have relied on bottled water for cooking and drinking.

A Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) totaling $990,352 will be used to bypass Ridgecrest’s worn water plant and tie into Ferriday’s water system.

Grant funding will bankroll sandblasting and cleaning of the interior and exterior of Ridgecrest’s water tower.

Money will also be used to purchase and install a new ground storage tank, install a water line from Ferriday’s water plant to Ridgecrest’s storage tank, purchase new radio-controlled water meters and install a handicap bathroom in city hall. The water line will run down Vidalia Drive.

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