An extension has been filed for Ridgecrest’s Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG), Mayor Veller Ray Carroll said during the town’s Nov. 24 regular meeting.

The extension for the grant, worth nearly $1 million, was made because a delay in the Ferriday water tie in environmental study.

Carroll assured aldermen Ridgecrest was still on schedule with the tie in.

“As soon as they approve (the environmental study), we can put bids out,” Carroll said. “Everything is still on go.”

Money will be used to bypass Ridgecrest’s timeworn water plant and tie into Ferriday’s water system.

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.

Additionally, Ridgecrest was awarded an approximately $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Carroll said.

The funds were awarded to Louisiana Community Development (LCD) through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act to help support “underserved communities to bring public drinking water systems into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

“Ensuring all Americans have access to clean water is a top priority for this administration,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Through these grants, we are taking significant actions to modernize aging water infrastructure and reduce potential exposure to contaminants in drinking water in often underserved communities.”

Money will be used to purchase new water meters for Ridgecrest.

Initially, the new water meters were going to be purchased from LCDBG.

Carroll said this “frees money up” to purchase other items with the LCDBG grant.

Meanwhile, Ridgecrest Police Department has purchased a used 2015 Ford Taurus patroller that will replace their old police car, Carroll said.

“It should be here Tuesday or Wednesday of next week,” Carroll said. “We’ll get it ready and get it on the road hopefully by Friday.”

The vehicle was purchased at Chicago Motors Inc. in Chicago, Ill.

In other business, alderman approved an exemption for an occupational license for Ochsner’s New Orleans.

Ochsner’s New Orleans is a 501-3C non-profit.

The hospital is possibly looking to locate a clinic in Ridgecrest in the future.

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