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The Village of Ridgecrest’s April meeting has been postponed until further notice, Mayor Veller Ray Carroll said Monday.

The monthly meeting was postponed in compliance with Gov. John Bel Edwards stay-at-home order March 22. The order, designed to combat the spread of COVID-19, discouraged meetings of more than 10 people. 

“Right now, we are going to postpone it to a later date during the month,” Carroll said. “We have to have a meeting each month.”

Village officials have been looking into different options in order to have a meeting.

“We may have to do it by phone,” Carroll said. “But right now, we don’t have the capabilities. We hadn’t made the official decision yet.”

The Town Hall’s lobby is closed but officials continue to process water bills. Residents are asked to place their payments in the drop box outside the town hall building.

“We’re not going to cut anybody off,” Carroll said. “But, they still have to pay their bill. We don’t want to get two months behind.”

Meanwhile, village officials are anxiously awaiting the funding decision on a Louisiana Community Block grant (LCDBG) that is to be announced early next month.

“We just don’t know if the virus is going to affect grant funding,” Carroll said. “We are hoping for the best, and just going day to day.”

Ridgecrest is one of 60 applicants in the second stage of applying for part of a $20 million LCDBG allocated by the Office of Community Development.

If approved, funding will be used to tie in to Ferriday’s water plant to Ridgecrest’s storage tank. The project also calls for sandblasting and cleaning the interior and exterior of its water tower, purchasing and installing new ground storage tank and the installation of a water line down Vidalia Drive.

Late last year, Ridgecrest was approved for an USDA loan/grant totaling $999,000 for the work and construction related to the tie in. Of the total amount by the USDA, $565,000 is a loan and $434,000 is a grant.

In other news, the water buffalo once located beside the Town Hall has been returned to the parish.

Carroll called the water buffalo a “big risk to have out there” in relation to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

The water buffalo has been stationed outside town hall for months with Ridgecrest residents using it as a means to obtain potable water for their homes.

“There was a couple people still using it,” Carroll said. “They would use 25 to 50 gallons each week. We are having good water on many of our streets now. They may have to borrow water from their neighbors.”

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