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Ridgecrest is set to start laying pipe for their new water system Nov. 1, barring any delays from receiving materials, according to Mayor Veller Ray Carroll.

Carroll informed aldermen of the project status at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

The village has been working toward the goal of obtaining better quality water for its citizens for several years. The goal became a reality when Ridgecrest received a nearly $1 million Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) last year.

Grant money is being used to bankroll tying into Ferriday’s water system, bypassing Ridgecrest’s timeworn water plant. Ridgecrest’s plant has been producing brown-tinted water for years. 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.

“We’re having trouble getting the pipe,” Carroll said. “But, when we get the pipe, we are looking at 30 days from the start to get tied in.”

Detailed in the project is also installing a new ground storage tank, purchasing new radio-controlled water meters and installing a handicap bathroom in city hall. The water line will run down Vidalia Drive.

In related news, Ridgecrest was awarded approximately $200,000 in a park improvement grant. Carroll set up a three person committee to investigate how best to spend the grant fund on Ridgecrest’s park. Committee members are Bobby Shepherd, Debbie Barnett and Connie Adair.

“I’ve formed this committee to see how to spend the money on the parks,” Carroll said. “We’ll bring it to the board when they decide the best way to spend it.”

Additionally, Ridgecrest has received $111,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Ridgecrest is set to receive another $111,000 next year.

In the meeting, Carroll and aldermen discussed spending first-year funds on the rebuilding of Ferriday Street lift station, purchasing second-hand garbage cans and giving Ridgecrest residents $75 credit on their water bill.

Aldermen also passed a resolution authorizing banking signatures in relation to the ARPA funds. The resolution gives permission to Carroll, Aldermen Darlene Humphries and Rita Boyler to sign checks for withdrawal of funds.

In other news, aldermen did not make a decision on Ridgecrest’s waste removal services. 

Last month, three bids were opened for the village’s provider, Waste Pro, Hometown Waste and Wolfe Disposal. Waste Pro put in a bid of $12.44 while Hometown Waste, of Natchez, bid $13.48. St. Joseph company, Wolfe Disposal, set its bid at $14.08.

Winning bidder will service approximately 250 homes. Carroll did not rule out Ridgecrest having to rebid the quotes when asked.

Meanwhile, aldermen tabled approving September’s financial report from the clerk. Aldermen had several questions concerning specific checks listed in the report. Village clerk, Hiawatha Smith, said she would find an explanation to the checks and resubmit the report to aldermen.

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