The Village of Ridgecrest’s applications for a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant and USDA loan have been submitted and officials are now waiting for a response.

Louisiana Community Block Grant representatives in Baton Rouge are expected to make an announcement Aug. 30 on whether the Ridgecrest application moves forward in the funding process.

Final funding decisions will be announced in April.

Mayor Veller Ray Carroll provided the update on the process during the town’s regular meeting.

Possible funding from the grant or loan will be used to tie in with Ferriday’s water plant in hopes of improving village water.

The Louisiana Community Development Block Grant application is the first stage of a process where 150 applicants are vying for $20 million. In this first stage, the 150 applicants will be cut to 60 applicants. The remaining applicants will then fill out the “full application,” said Keith Capdepon, lead project engineer with Bryant Hammett & Associates in the July meeting.

If Ridgecrest is approved for the USDA loan, officials plan to obligate the money and “wait to see if we are funded from the block grant,” Capdepon said. 

If Ridgecrest is awarded the block grant, officials can de-obligate funds from the USDA loan, Capdepon said in the July meeting.

In a related matter, a new shipment of bottled water will be delivered Friday to Ridgecrest, said Concordia Parish Police Jury president Jimmy Wilkinson.

“We requested 32 pallets,” Wilkinson said. “Hopefully, we will get them all.”

Meanwhile, officials have applied for permits to establish a site where Ridgecrest residents can dump their cut limbs and leaves, Carroll said. The possible site will be located at an old pond site near the back of Ridgecrest. 

Additionally, Ferriday officials will be on hand Saturday hauling limbs that have been set out at residences.

Along with limb removal, Ridgecrest officials are currently involved in cleaning ditches in the hopes of better drainage, particularly ditches from Mimosa to Vidalia streets.

“We have to get the main ditches cleaned out so everything will drain out,” Carroll said.

On another front, residents aired complaints about not being able to ask questions or comments. An allotted time was scheduled and given for public comments at the beginning of the meeting with Carroll asking twice if there were any public comments “for agenda items only.”

There was no response from the sparse crowd.

According to Louisiana public meeting laws, “Public bodies must provide an opportunity for public comment prior to action on the agenda item upon which a vote is to be taken. The governing body may adopt reasonable rules and restrictions regarding the comment period.”

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